Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

The 2018 CODE Burt Award for Young Adult African Literature has gone to Kenya’s Kinyanjui Kombani for his book Finding Colombia. Kinyanjui received a cash prize of $10,000 CDN, while his publisher, Oxford University Press, East Africa Limited, received a guaranteed purchase of 2,000 copies for distribution in Kenya, another 2,000 copies for distribution in Tanzania, and a $2,000 CDN grant to market the title across the continent. The announcement was made at an award ceremony at the Ghana International Book Fair in Accra, where an honour book was also announced.

Established by the Canadian literacy organisation CODE in collaboration with the Literary Prizes Foundation, the CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature is a readership initiative recognizing “outstanding writing for young adults by African authors.” It includes programs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania, as well as beyond the continent in the Caribbean and in Canada.

The 2018 Prize jury received 17 submissions from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. “We were all impressed with the varied themes and messages in this year’s submissions as well as the presentation, style and structure,” their statement read. “All of these stories address topical issues that will resonate with young readers.”

A banker, a learning facilitator, an award-winning entrepreneur, and a business mentor, Kinyanjui Kombani is the author of 13 titles. His winning book, Finding Colombia, is “an action-packed adventure story involving the local Anti-Drug Agency (ADA), a covert operation involving a notorious and influential but elusive drug baron, and a young man who is determined to find a purpose in life as he deals with the reality of the drug culture.”

Ghanaian Ruby Yayra Goka’s To Kiss a Girl was named the 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature Honour Book. Ruby received a cash prize of $2,000 CDN, and her publisher, Digibooks Ghana Ltd, received a guaranteed purchase of 2,000 copies for distribution in Ghana, and a grant of $2,000 CDN to promote the title on the continent. To Kiss a Girl “addresses the universal themes of relationships along with difficult [but] no less important themes of illness, pain and death.” Following her older sister’s death, its heroine Gyikua Ampofo “loses faith in everything she ever believed in—God, a mother’s love, school and friends. But then she meets Chidi Anukwe and as their friendship grows, she learns to trust again.”

The finalists for the 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature are: Ghanaian Elizabeth-Irene Baitie’s The Lion’s Whisper, published by Kwadwoan Publishers; Ghanaian Vera Akumiah’s Ebony Girl, published by Kwadwoan Publishers; and Ethiopian Hiwot Walelign’s Somebody’s Daughter, published by Mega Publishing. All three received a cash prize of $1,000 CDN.

Through its local implementing partners and rights sales in each of the program countries, CODE will distribute 12,000 copies each of the winner and honour book to schools, libraries, and community organizations in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania, in 2018 and 2019. The books will lead CODE’s “Read with Me” campaign this year.

Brittle Paper congratulates Kinyanjui Kombani, and Ruby Yayra Goka, and the finalists Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, Vera Akumiah, and Hiwot Walelign.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

How to Be a Nigerian Writer: Excerpt from Elnathan John’s Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide 

elnathan becoming nigerian graph

On February 6, Cassava Republic Press published Elnathan John’s Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide in Nigeria. Portraying “the different Nigerians you are likely […]

Catalyst Press Books Gears Up for North America Releases of Peter Church’s Crackerjack and Yewande Omotoso’s Bom Boy 

catalyst press books

On February 26, US-based publisher Catalyst Press Books will be releasing North America editions of the South African novelist Peter […]

PHOTOS | The Asmara Addis Literary Festival in Exile: a Pan-African Event for Feminism, Free Love, and Radical Ideas

Asmara Addis Literray Festival in Exile (18)

The inaugural Asmara Addis Literary Festival in Exile was held from 8–10 February 2019, in Brussels, Belgium. Founded by Eritrean-Ethiopian novelist […]

Fever | Sarah Lubala | Poetry

Fire 1200 x 630

  In a Bali hotel room I shed electricity some quirk of the medication tends and stokes kindles against me […]

The University of Dar es Salaam to Host Ceremony for the 2018 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 

Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature.  

The 2018 winners of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature winners will be honoured at the University of Dar es […]

Death’s Swoop | Andile Ndlovu | Fiction

Funeral Procession 1200 x 630

  On the morning of our mother’s funeral, three women showed up unannounced and unavoidably. Three women I had seen […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.