Top African writers under 40 announced

The team announces Africa39. Image courtesy @bloomsburybooks
The team announces Africa39 list. /Image courtesy @bloomsburybooks

Africa39 a project celebrating the top 39 African writers under the age of 40 has announced its best at the London Book Fair today.

The Africa39 project seeks to produce a possible snapshot of our shared African future. The unique part of the project is that it lists not just English but African languages with 25% of the long listed writers from the South of Sahara.

The project started when run by Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina long listed 120 writers who were then selected by a panel that included Elechi Amadi, Tess Onwueme, and Margaret Busby. Their reward will be that they will be commissioned to write a short story or extract that will be published in the anthology that will be edited by Ellah Allfrey with a forward by Nobel Prize winner Professor Wole Soyinka. Publishing house Bloomsbury promises to have the anthology out by October 2014 where it will be presented in Nigeria as part of celebrations for Port Harcourt as the UNESCO World Book Capital 2014..

The 39 writers were announced in the last hour and include some of the most known writers on the continent. They are;

  1. ADICHIE NGOZIE, Chimamanda
  2. ALI A MUTU, Richard
  3. ARAC DE NYEKO, Monica
  4. BABATUNDE, Rotimi
  5. BARBOSA, Eillen
  6. BARRET, Igoni
  7. BATANDA, Jackee Budesta
  8. BOTURU, Recaredo Silevo
  10. CHICOTI, Shadreck
  11. DRO, Edwige Renée
  12. FOLARIN, Tope
  13. GACHAGUA, Clifton
  14. GAZEMBA, Stanley
  15. GOHIL, Mehul
  16. GOLAKAI, Hawa Jande
  17. HASSIM, Shafinaaz
  18. IBRAHIM, Abubakar Adam
  19. KENANI, Onjezani Stanley
  20. MENGESTU, Dinaw
  21. MOHAMED, Nadifa
  22. MOHLELE, Nthikeng
  23. MUSITA, Linda
  24. MZOBE, Sifiso
  25. NAMUKASA, Glaydah
  26. NDINDA, Kioko
  27. ODUOR, Okwiri
  28. OLISAKWE, Ukamaka
  30. ONUZO, Chibundu
  31. PARKES, Nii
  32. SELASI, Taiye
  33. SERPELL, Namwali
  34. SHONEYIN, Lola
  35. TSHUMA, Novuyo Rosa
  36. UNIGWE, Chika
  37. WANNER, Zukiswa
  38. WATSON, Mary
  39. YUNUS RAFIQ, Mohamed.

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

15 replies on “Top African writers under 40 announced”

“English Language Top African Writers Under 40 Announced” would be a more appropriate headline

[…] Ukamaka Olisakwe was the lady in the banking fraternity until very recently as she joined us in the full time creative business. Just like a typical banker she had already lined up a gig writing The Calabash TV series which is screening on Africa Magic on DSTV. This Ukamaka person has not only written the novel Eyes of a Goddess but she also is listed in the Africa39 project. […]

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