The winners of the inaugural Kendeka Short Story Prize have been announced. They are Jenny Robson (Botswana) in first place for “Water for Wine,”  and the Nigerian writers Fatima Okhousami for “The Women of Atinga House,” and Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe for “Au Pair,” in second and third place respectively.

The Kendeka Short Story Prize, an initiative of Kenya-based Solano Publications, rewards a single short story of between 3,000 to 5,000 words by up to three African writers. The first Prize is Kshs 100,000, the second and the third prizes are Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 respectively.

The 2021 winners, selected from a shortlist of five, were announced during the award ceremony held on the 25th September, 2021, at Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge, Thika, Kenya. The ceremony was broadcasted LIVE on Facebook and Youtube, and you can find more information on the prize website.

The judging panel comprised of Lucas Wafula, Editor-in-chief and CEO of Booklyst Press Limited, literary translator Edwige Renée Dro, and novelist Remy Ngamije. The longlisted stories will be published in an anthology titled I Am Listening, 2021 Edition.

See the winners’ bio. 

Jenny Robson was born in South Africa in 1952, but has lived most of her adult life in Botswana where she works as a music teacher. Much of her writing is for children and young people. To date, she has eleven YA novels published. One of these novels, Because Pula Means Rain, was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Youth Literature the Service of Tolerance. Jenny also writes short stories for adults and her work has been published in magazines both locally and abroad. Some of her work has been translated into other languages including KiSwahili, German, Spanish and Korean. Her stories and novels are set always, firmly and with love, in Afrika.

Fatima Okhuosami is a pharmacist and avid consumer of literature and global politics. Some of her poems and short stories are published online / in-print at: The Kalahari Review, Chillfiltr Review, Jalada Africa, Everyday Fiction, Agbowo press,, Third Word Press, Kreative Diadem, Flash: The International Short Story Magazine, Itanile magazine, etc. She was a runner-up of the December 2020 Collins Elesiro literary prize. She is a graduate of the 2019 International Writing Programme Lines and Spaces Tour held at Abuja, Nigeria.

Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe is content writer and graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, with a degree in Sociology. When not writing content, she love to write, sing, listen to music draw, eat (yes, she a HUGE foodie), play video games, and watch movies.

Congratulations to the winners.