The 2021 Kendeka Prize for African Literature has announced the first three winners. A statement from the organisers said the first prize goes to Jenny Robson from Botswana for Water For Wine; Nigerians Fatima Okhousami second for The Women of Atinga House, and Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe’s Au Pair wins the third prize.
“The three stories on this inaugural list of winners were chosen from the five shortlisted stories by a panel of three Judges chaired by Lucas Wafula, a Kenyan, the Editor-in-chief, and CEO, Booklyst Press Limited. He is also a Director and Lead Facilitator at Global Editorial Centre-KE. Also in the panel is Edwige Renée Dro, a writer, a literary translator and a literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. The third judge is Remy Ngamije, a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer, the founder, and the administrator of Doek. He won the Africa Regional Prize of the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2021. The list was chosen from 23 African nations,” the statement said.
The winners were announced during the award ceremony held on the 25th September, 2021, at Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge, Thika, Kenya. The ceremony was LIVE both on Facebook and on Youtube. For details, visit www.kendekaprize.com .
The first Prize is Kshs 100,000, the second and the third prizes are Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 respectively.
Kendeka Prize for African Literature is an initiative by Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer through Solano Publications Limited. It aims at encouraging Africans to write and read more. In participating in this contest, new talents have been discovered and when nurtured, can be great writers perhaps following in the footsteps of Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Camara Laye and Chimamanda Ngozi Andichie among others.
The Prize is ran by an Advisory Board chaired by James Murua. Other members are Andrew Maina, Dr. Tom Odhiambo, Muthoni wa Gichuru, Mercy Kiragu, Patrick Gatobu and William Mureithi.
Ojochegbe is content writer and graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, with a B.sc degree in Sociology. When not writing content, she loves to write, sing, listen to music draw, eat (yes, she a HUGE foodie), play video games, and watch movies.
Okhuosami is a pharmacist and avid consumer of literature and global politics. Some of her poems and short stories are published online / in-print at: The Kalahari Review, Chillfiltr Review, Jalada Africa, Everyday Fiction, Agbowo press, 101words.org, Third Word Press, Kreative Diadem, Flash: The International Short Story Magazine, Itanile magazine, etc.
She was a runner-up of the December 2020 Collins Elesiro literary prize.
She is a graduate of the 2019 International Writing Programme Lines and Spaces Tour held at Abuja, Nigeria.
Robson was born in South Africa in 1952, but has lived most of her adult life in Botswana where she works as a music teacher. Much of her writing is for children and young people. To date, she has eleven YA novels published. One of these novels, Because Pula Means Rain, was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Youth Literature the Service of Tolerance.
Jenny also writes short stories for adults and her work has been published in magazines both locally and abroad. Some of her work has been translated into other languages including KiSwahili, German, Spanish and Korean.
Her stories and novels are set always, firmly and with love, in Afrika.