Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Zainab Alwi Baharoon. Photo credit: 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 Salaam on February 15, at a ceremony organized by ALAF Ltd. The prize winners are the Tanzanian Zainab Alwi Baharoon, for her novel Mungu Hakopeshwi, and the Kenyan Jacob Ngumbau Julius, for his poetry collection Moto wa Kifuu. Both writers will receive $5,000 each.

Founded in 2014 by Dr Lizzy Attree, former director of the Caine Prize and now board member of Short Story Day Africa, and novelist and poet Mukoma wa Ngugi, Professor of English at Cornell University, the $15,000 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature “has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.” It is “awarded to the best unpublished manuscripts, or books published within two years of the award year, across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.” The winner of the poetry category is published in English translation by the Africa Poetry Book Fund (APBF). Winners in other categories are published in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers and East African Educational Publishers (EAEP). For 2018, only two first prize winners were selected in each category.

Jacob Ngumbau Julius. Photo credit: Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature.  

The other works shortlisted were:

For poetry:

  • Wino wa Dhahabu by Bashiru Abdallah (Tanzania)
  • Sauti Yangu by Mohamed Idrisa Haji (Tanzania)

For fiction:

  • Kilinge cha Hukumu ya Dhambi by Yasini Hamisi Shekibulah (Tanzania)
  • Makovu ya Uhai by Shisia Wasilwa (Kenya)

The six finalists were chosen from 116 entries. The judges are: Ahmad Kipacha, a Lecturer of Research Communication with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania; fiction writer Natalie Arnold Koenings, a Swahili and English literary translator and anthropologist at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA; and literary critic and novelist Rocha Chimerah, Professor of Kiswahili Linguistics at Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya.

The Prize’s Board of Trustees includes Abdilatif Abdalla as Chair, Mukoma wa Ngugi, Lizzy Attree, Happiness Bulugu, Walter Bgoya, Henry Chakava, Chege Githiora, Carole Boyce Davies, Rajeev Shah, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o.

The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is primarily supported by Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya, a subsidiary of the Safal Group, and Cornell University’s Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Africana Studies Center.

For more information, please visit the Prize’s website.

Tags: , , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction 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 Curator at 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 work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. 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 has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ali Hilal Ali’s “Meza Riwaya” out in time for Mabati Cornell Prize 2018 ceremony. - February 15, 2019

    […] Alwi Baharoon and Jacob Ngumbau Julius going home with the plaudits. The winners are set to be feted today by the award team at the University of Dar es Salaam with all partners as well as fans […]

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

Oyinkan Braithwaite Wins the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Photo credit: CrimeReads

Nigerian author Oyinkan Braithwaite has won the 2019 Anthony Award for her debut novel My Sister, the Serial Killer. Braithwaite […]

Winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards

nommo

On October 25, the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) announced the winners of the 2019 Nommo Awards. The award announcement […]

Editor’s Note | 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Volume II | Ebenezer Agu

Anthology

In producing this anthology, there were challenges we had not foreseen, mostly because the individuals involved lived in different continents […]

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Olumide Popoola, Mukoma wa Ngugi at Stimmen Afrikas Literaturfestival in Cologne, Germany

dsc5659

From November 6 to November 9 2019, 33 guests from 19 countries, including several notable African authors, scholars, other individuals […]

Romeo Oriogun’s Debut Poetry Collection, Sacrament of Bodies, an Interrogation of Queerness, Masculinity & Nigerianness, Now Available for Pre-order

Oriogun

In 2018, the Nigerian poet Romeo Oriogun was named an Institute of International Education Artist Protection Fund Fellow and a […]

20.35 Africa | Momtaza Mehri, Megan Ross, Nadra Mabrouk, Saddiq Dzukogi Featured in Forthcoming Volume II, Guest-Edited by Yasmin Belkhyr & Kayo Chingonyi

READ: 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary African Poetry, Volume 2 Earlier this year, we announced a call for submissions […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.