Kigali-based Huza Press is Brittle Paper’s Publishing House of the Year for their contribution to advancing Rwandan literary culture.
Huza Press was founded in 2015 and has since distinguished itself in the African independent publishing scene. The press has released hits such as Billy Kahora’s short story collection The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories and Yolande Mukagasana’s memoir Not My Time to Die. In a bold move to build local talent, the press established Rwanda’s first national prize for fiction in 2015. The award includes a cash prize, mentorship opportunities, and training workshops.
Huza Press is, perhaps, best known for using digital technology to integrate African languages and storytelling in new media formats. In 2018, Huza Press launched a publishing project that looked beyond traditional conception of books. They collaborated with Kwani Trust and No Bindings to launch RadioBookRwanda, multi-media pocketbooks that combine artwork with short stories by Rwandan authors in both Kinyarwanda and English. The books, bound in an unconventional manner, are also produced as audiobooks and accompanied by podcasts that offer more insight into the stories themselves.
Huza Press, and similar publishing outfits on the continent, are the life blood of Africa’s literary culture because of the diversity they bring to the cultural space. They develop local talent, build local audiences, and, in the process, ensure the national diversity of African literary culture.
See Full List of the 2020 Brittle Paper Person of the Year