The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has announced the 2022 shortlisted manuscripts, that have made it to the finals of the competition.
The Prize is supported by Safal Group, through its member companies Mabati Rolling Mills in Kenya, and ALAF in Tanzania, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University, and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.
“Many of the manuscripts that competed for the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature in 2022 were so good that it made the judges’ work very difficult to decide which works should be awarded as first place winners. In fact, almost all the manuscripts reviewed by the judges deserved victory in one way or another, but since there must be a winner in this kind of competition, the judges unanimously decided on the names of the shortlisted and from which the winners will be announced,” said Professor F.E.M.K. Senkoro during the announcement.
Other judges were Dr. Magdaline Nakhumicha Wafula of Moi University, and Dr. Hamisi Babusa of Kenyatta University, Kenya.
The shortlisted works and authors are:
- Dunia na Watu Wake -Ahmad Simba Mwaita (Tanzania), Wimbo wa Hatima – Isaac Ndolo (Kenya) and Ujanajike – Dotto Daudi Rangimoto (Tanzania) in the Fiction Category
- Mzoga Unaonukia – Lenard Mtesigwa (Tanzania) Mamangu Nipe Wosia – Salum Makamba (Tanzania) and Uswahilini – Ally Bakari Mchanyato (Tanzania) for the Poetry Category.
- Isaac Ndolo, is the first Kenyan to make it to the shortlist since 2020. His shortlisted manuscript falls under the Fiction category of the competition.
Overall winners will be announced at the awards ceremony slated for January 25, 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Kiswahili Prize Award Criteria: The prize will be awarded to the best-unpublished manuscript in the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The total proposed awards of 15,000 US dollars will be divided as follows:
- 1st Fiction/Non-fiction prize – USD 5,000
- 1st Poetry prize – USD 5,000
- Runner-up Prize any genre– USD 2,500
In addition to the prizes, winning entries will also be considered for publication by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers in Tanzania while the winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund.
The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi to recognize writing in African languages and encourage translation from, between, and into African languages.