The Kendeka Short Story Prize has unveiled the judges for its 2022 edition. The panel is chaired by South African academic Siphiwo Mahala, Kenyan writer Faith Oneya, and Nigerian author Bisi Adjapon.
The prize is an initiative of Kenya-based Solano Publications. Its “mission is to nurture new and existing writers from the African Continent and the Diaspora by creating a platform for Africans to tell their stories not only on the Continent but to reach wider audiences around the world.” Writers are asked to “write on issues affecting Africa from an African perspective” for the chance to win one of three prizes: Kshs 100,000 for the overall winner, and Kshs 50,000 and 25,000, respectively, for the first and second runners-up.
Last year’s judging panel was chaired by Lucas Wafula, Editor-in-chief and CEO of Booklyst Press Limited, literary translator Edwige Renée Dro, and novelist Remy Ngamije. The winners were Jenny Robson (Botswana) in first place for “Water for Wine”, with Nigerian writers Fatima Okhousami and Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe coming in at second and third place. The winning stories appeared in the anthology I am Listening alongside the longlisted pieces.
The 2022 winners will be announced in September.
Learn more about the Judges.
Siphiwo Mahala is an academic, short story writer, novelist, and playwright. He is a graduate of the University of Fort Hare, holds a Masters degree in African Literature from Wits University, and a PhD in English Literature from the University of South Africa. His debut novel, When a Man Cries, was published in 2007. He is the author of two critically acclaimed plays, The House of Truth (2016) and Bloke and His American Bantu (2021), two short story collections, African Delights (2011) and Red Apple Dreams and Other Stories (2019), and a biography, Can Themba: The Making and Breaking of the Intellectual Tsotsi (2022). He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bisi Adjapon is the author of The Teller of Secrets, a Washington Post/Essence/Globe and Mail top 20 novel published in November 2021 by HarperCollins. The short story version, Of Women and Frogs, was nominated for the Caine Prize. Her second novel, Daughter in Exile, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in March 2023. She has written for and been featured in many publications including McSweeney’s Quarterly, Washington Post, Ms Magazine, Aljazeera, New York Times, and Washington Times. She founded and ran the Young Shakespeare company for four years in America and, as an International Affairs Specialist for the US Foreign Service, she won the Civil Rights Award for Human Relations. As an educator, she won an Excellence in Teaching Award and is a member of The Who is Who of the best teachers in America. She divides her time between Ghana and America.
Faith Oneya is a media practitioner, opinion columnist, and creative writer. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including the Standard, African Woman Magazine, Daily Nation, and The EastAfrican. Her short stories have been featured in several anthologies, the latest being Nairobi Noir (2020). Her children’s book, The Girl with a Big Heart (2018), was approved for use as a class reader by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. Faith holds a Master of Arts degree in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Kenya and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She also holds a Bachelor of Education (English and Literature) degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is a member of the Kenya Editors’ Guild and the Association of Media Women in Kenya. She’s also an editorial board member of Jahazi Arts Journal.