Resoketswe Manenzhe and Frances Ogamba have been awarded the 2019 Writivism Prizes. Photo credit: Writivism.

The winners of the 2019 Writivism Prizes have been announced: the Koffi Addo Creative Nonfiction Prize went to Nigeria’s Frances Ogamba, for “The Valley of Memories,” and the Writivism Short Story Prize went to South Africa’s Resoketswe Manenzhe, for “Maserumo.” The shortlisted pieces for the Koffi Addo Prize appear in Arts and Africa; those for the Short Story Prize appear in Munyori. Ogamba had been shortlisted for both prizes.

Founded in 2012 as a program of the Uganda-based Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE), Writivism is a leading literary initiative in the development of writers across the continent. In addition to running the two prizes, it organises the annual Writivism Literary Festival. This year’s theme is “Unbreakable Bonds.” Both the Writivism Short Story Prize, started in 2013, and the Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction, started in 2016 and funded by the Koffi Addo family/MAKEDA in Ghana, are worth $500 each and come with a month-long residency at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Finalists for both prizes receive $150 each.

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Judged by the Ugandan novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the Zimbabwean editor Emmanuel Siguake, and the Ghanaian blogger Linna Likimani, the Writivism Short Story Prize shortlist, chosen from 387 entries, also included South Africa’s Vuyelwa Maluleke, for “Tale,” and Ogamba, for “Ghana Boy,” with the Nigerian Temitope Owolabi an honourable mention. That of the Koff Addo Creative Nonfiction Prize, selected from 117 submissions and judged by the Ghanaian novelist Ayesha Harruna Attah, the South African novelist Karen Jennings, and the Kenyan academic Christopher Ouma, included the Nigerians Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, for “The Comedian,” and Eugene Yakubu, for “How to Wear Your Body.”

Frances Ogamba’s stories appear in Afridiaspora and Writivism’s digital mini-anthology, Dwartonline and YNaija websites, and on Enkare Review. She is a workshop alumnus of Writivism 2016, Ake Fiction 2016, and Winter Tangerine 2016. She lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Resoketswe Manenzhe is a PhD candidate at the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Cape Town. Starting in 2015, her poems and short stories have appeared in several online magazines and journals, and in 2017, two of her poems were shortlisted for the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Anthology and subsequently published in the anthology of selected poems. She currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Previous winners of the Writivism Short Story Prize are Uganda’s Anthea Paelo (2013), South Africa’s Saaleha Bamjee (2014), Nigeria’s Pemi’ Aguda (2015), Uganda’s Acan Innocent Immaculate (2016), Nigeria’s Munachim Amah (2017), and Kenya’s Mbogo Ireri (2018). Previous winners of the Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction are Ghana’s Yvette Tetteh (2016), South Africa’s Charles King (2017), and Zambia’s Chisanga Mukuka (2018).

All longlisted stories for both prizes will appear in Writivism’s annual anthology. Previous years’ anthologies are Picture Frames (2013), Fire in the Night (2014), Roses for Betty (2015), Sundown (2016), And Morning Will Come (2017, forthcoming), and Intersections (2018, forthcoming).

Brittle Paper congratulates Frances Ogamba and Resoketswe Manenzhe.