You know we love the short story in Kenya, right? I have a feeling that vibe was started when Binyavanga Wainaina won that prize all those years ago. This was followed by Yvonne Adhiambo Owour for that terrific Weight of Whispers the year after that. With Muthoni Garland, Parsalelo Kantai and Billy Kahora going down the same route to be known in the literature business the Kenyan as short story writer is starting to become quite something.
We can now add a new name to the galaxy of Kenyan short story writers; Okwiri Oduor. She has just been announced as the winner in the Short Story Day Africa Prize. This prize brings together writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, teachers and school children from all over the globe to write, submit, read, workshop and discuss stories – and foster the love of reading and writing African fiction.
The competition is supported by a whole load of people who have the love of the written word including the Caine Prize for African writing, Bookslive.co.za, publisher Modjaji Books and a list of others.
This year’s theme was the Feast, Famine, and Potluck short story and it was judged by Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah, Isabella Morris, Consuelo Roland, and Novuyo Rosa Tshuma. Okwiri won for her entry My Father’s Day which you can read on BooksLive website this Friday. She goes home with R2000 (Kshs20,000) cash (sponsored by BooksLive), a 10 Module Creative Writing Course from All About Writing worth R5000 and The 2013 Caine Prize Anthology.
The top fifteen authors shortlisted, including Oduor, received a copy of the anthology, a collection of African short fiction from Modjaji Books or Botsotso. Here is the full list of the top three.
1st Place: My Father’s Head by Okwiri Odour(Kenya)
2nd Place: Choke by Jayne Bauling(SouthAfrica)
3rd Place: Chicken by Efemia Chela(Zambia)