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Mabati Cornell Announces the inaugural Kiswahili Prize for African Literature Winners

Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

Winners of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature were announced Tuesday, November 17. The prize recognizes writing in African languages and encourages translation from, between and into African languages.

The inaugural winners are:

1st Fiction Prize, 5,000 US dollars: Anna Samwel for Penzi la Damu
1st Poetry Prize, 5,000 US dollars: Mohammed K. Ghassani for N’na Kwetu
2nd Prize 3,000 US dollars in any genre: Enock Maregesi for Kolonia Santita (fiction)
3rd prize 2,000 US dollars in any genre: Christopher Bundala Budebah for Kifaurongo (poetry)

Selected from 65 entries the manuscripts were read by 6 judges: Fiction: Dr Farouk Topan, Prof Sheila Ryanga, Prof Mohamed Bakari. Poetry: Ms Rukiya Harith Swaleh, Prof Clara Momanyi, Prof Alamin Mazrui.

The Prizes will be awarded at the Kwani? Lit Fest on 3rd December 2015 at the Capital Club in Nairobi, Kenya.

The prize is awarded to the best unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.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 5,000 US dollars; 1st Poetry Prize, 5,000 US dollars, 2nd Prize 3,000 US dollars in any genre and 3rd prize 2,000 US dollars in any genre.

For consideration for next year’s prize, send your unpublished manuscripts or books (fiction, poetry and memoir, or graphic novels) published in Kiswahili within 2014-2016 to kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu by March 31, 2016. Manuscripts should not be less than 50,000 words for fiction and 60 pages for poetry. The shortlist will be announced in July and the winner announced in October 2016.

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