Mubanga Kalimamukwento and Mamdouh Hebeshy.

Zambian author Mubanga Kalimamukwento and Egyptian writer and filmmaker Mamdouh Hebeshy have been awarded the 2023 Tejumola Olaniyan Creative Writers-in-Residence Fellowship.

Run by the Africa Institute, this fellowship program honors the late Nigerian Professor Tejumola Olaniyan and his contributions to African literature and critical theory. The fellowship awards a generous grant of 45,000 AED and provides an opportunity for African and African diasporic writers to nurture their craft during a 3-month residency period.

Established in 2018, the Africa Institute is located in Sharjah, UAE and is the only institution of its kind in the Gulf. It is an interdisciplinary academic research institute dedicated to the study, research, and documentation of Africa and the African diaspora.

The awardees were chosen based on the quality of their proposal and the demonstrated feasibility of completion within the timeframe of the residency.

Mubanga Kalimamukwento is a Zambian storyteller and lawyer, best known for The Mourning Bird (2019). She recently graduated from Hamline University’s MFA program and was awarded a Shenandoah Literary Magazine’s Fellowship for BIPOC Editors.

Mamdouh Hebeshy is an Egyptian writer, filmmaker, and critic. His published works include a collection of short stories and a book on independent Egyptian cinema. He is also known for producing feature-length documentaries on the Al-Jazeera channel. His 2010 short film “Less than an Hour”, produced by the National Film Center, won the award for best short film at the National Festival of Egyptian Cinema in 2010.

The selected writers will be in residence in Sharjah, UAE, where they will work on their proposed projects in a supportive environment with the necessary resources, guidance, and mentorship to nurture their artistic growth. The fellowship also offers recipients the potential for publication through The Africa Institute.

Congrats to Hebeshy and Kalimamukwento!