The shortlist for the Nyabola Prize in Science and Speculative Fiction has been announced.

The youth writing prize, founded in 2021 by Nanjala Nyabola, and held in partnership with the Mabati-Cornell Prize for African Literature “has the express goal of recognizing short fiction in Kiswahili with the intention of promoting the vocabulary of science and technology in Kiswahili.”

Writers were encouraged to use science and speculative fiction to demonstrate the use of vocabularies of technology in Kiswahili.

The shortlisted authors were selected from over 147 entries. Ms. Nyabola, who also served as a judge for the inaugural award, said the judges were impressed with the range of submissions and expanse of themes covered. Joining her on the judging panel was Dr. Hamisi Babusa, professor of Kiswahili at Kenyatta University, who also expressed delightful surprise at some of the unexpected twists of the stories.

See the shortlist below. The authors are listed in alphabetical order. Translations are equally provided where necessary.

  • Sofi Binsari (Kenya) Dunia ya Pili
  • Twihuvila Gillah (Kenya) Pigo Zito
  • Hussna Mohamed Hassan (Tanzania) Afriti Hasitiki
  • Stallone Joyfully (Tanzania) Dubwasha
  • Emmanuel Kimeu (Kenya) Sayari Ya Wanawake
  • Hassan Omar Mambosasa (Tanzania) Mashine
  • Haruni Manigu (Tanzania) Ustaarabu Wa Sayari Ya Sadiza
  • Charles John Mlowezi (Tanzania) Kamera Ya Mtoisa
  • Shabani Omari Molito (Tanzania) Mgeni Kutoka Sayari Nyekundu
  • Florence Chanya Mwaita (Kenya) Miongo Mia Moja

The final prize winners will be announced in January 2022 and an anthology of the top twenty stories is expected later in the year.

Congratulations to the authors!