Two Kenyans nominated for Kiswahili Continental Awards

Two Kenyans nominated for Kiswahili Continental Awards

Two Kenyans are among six writers nominated for the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature to be feted in Nairobi this evening.

Theuri Maina and Wanyonyi John Wanyama have been nominated for the Cornell University founded award for their ‘Ziaka Imetoboka’ and ‘Safari Ya Matumaini’ manuscripts.

Others are Tanzania’s Lello Mmassy (Mimi ni Rais), Moh’d Khamis Songoro (Nusu ya Moyo), Arshad Ali (Mji wa Kambare! Diwani ya Mnenaji!) and Nassor Hilal Kharusi (Mama Usihuzunike).

The $15,000 award, co-sponsored by Mabati Rolling Mills and Cornell University now in its 5th year continues to attract fiction and poetry writers across East Africa setting a historical precedent in growing the African culture.

Selected from 96 entries, the manuscripts were judged by 3 senior Kiswahili scholars in Kenya and Tanzania.

Last Year’s Award ceremony held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania saw Kenyan poet Jacob Ngumbau named the overall winner of the 2018 Prize for his Kiswahili poetry work “Moto wa Kifuu” (Fire of the Coconut Shell).

The award targeted the best unpublished manuscripts in the fiction and poetry categories published within two years of the award year.

The prize was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Richmond/Goldsmith’s) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) who expressed goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

Notable Kenyan writer Prof Ngugi wa Thiong’o is among the Prize’s Board of Trustees.

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