Author, Researcher, Peace & Conflict Professional

Awards

  • 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
  • 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
  • 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
  • Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK  Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week

Picture credit: Short Story Day Africa 

Submissions are open from 1 June and closes on 31 July 2016 and the theme is ‘Migrations’.

From their website the teaser says: ‘'From our ancestors’ first forays through the continent, to the contemporary diaspora spread around the world, people are eternally moving in, out and about the African continent. Not everyone leaves out of their own volition, and not everyone comes with the best intentions: nevertheless, the story of Africa is the story of souls migrating, settling, unsettling, fleeing, seeking, resting, nesting and sharing stories, experiences and myths. From herds of migrating animals to treks both physical and spiritual, from the comfort of ancient myth to the desperation of those currently fleeing their homes, Short Story Day Africa is looking for a crop of short fiction that will bring a fresh, urgent perspective to one of our most profound phenomena, and the basis of all our greatest stories.’

Prize money up for grabs:

Read more...

Fiston Mujila’s debut Tram 83 which recently won the Etisalat Prize is on the Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) long-list of 25 books announced this week! Several of the books long-listed like Mujila’s Tram 83, José Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion, Elena Ferannte’s The Story of the Lost Child and Yan Lianke’s The Four Books, are also on the  Man Booker International Prize 2016 Long-list – interesting year this!

The BTBA is an American literary award that recognizes the previous year's best original translation into English in two categories – Fiction and poetry. It was inaugurated in 2008 and is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester.

The award takes into consideration not only the quality of the translation but the entire package: the work of the original writer, translator, editor, and publisher. The award is "an opportunity to honor and celebrate the translators, editors, publishers, and other literary supporters who help make literature from other cultures available to American readers."

In October 2010 Amazon.com announced it would be underwriting the prize with a $25,000 grant. This would allow both the translator and author to receive a $5,000 prize. Prior to this the award did not carry a cash prize.

This year’s judges are: Amanda Bullock (Literary Arts, Portland), Heather Cleary, translator from the Spanish, co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review), Kevin Elliott (57th Street Books), Kate Garber (192 Books), Jason Grunebaum (translator from the Hindi, writer), Mark Haber (writer,Brazos Bookstore), Stacey Knecht (translator from Czech and Dutch), Amanda Nelson (Book Riot), and P.T. Smith (writer and reader).

Read more...

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist has been announced and the eclectic list includes seven African writers – 3 Nigerians and 4 South Africans.

This year’s prize attracted nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries. Twenty-six said to be “fresh and unexpected” stories by writers from eleven countries make up the shortlist.

After an initial sift by a team of international readers, the global judging panel, representing each of the five regions of the Commonwealth – Helon Habila (Africa), Firdous Azim (Asia),  Pierre Mejlak (Canada and Europe)  Olive Senior (Caribbean), and Patrick Holland (Pacific) – settled on the short-list.

Chair of the judges, South African novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo, said of this year’s shortlist:

As a novelist accustomed to the luxury of the long form it has been a treat to discover writers who manage to crystallise such different experiences into so few words. The stories we have chosen for the shortlist are in turn comic, touching, poetic, mysterious but always fresh and unexpected.

Read more...

Literary Crossroads features Nigerian and Kenyan authors

The panel from left: Professor Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui, moderator Khainga O’Okwemba and Ambassador Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba

Goethe Institut has a new series dubbed Literary Crossroads - Conversations with African Writers. This is a new series of talks hosted at Goethe centres in three African cities which brings together African writers on the continent and from the diaspora. At these events in Nairobi, Lagos and Johannesburg, the writers discuss contemporary issues prevalent in their literatures today.

On Thursday, it was Nairobi’s turn to host the series and it was organised as a collaboration between PEN Kenya and Goethe Institut. Featured authors were Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba and Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui. The conversation was moderated by Kenyan poet and journalist, Khainga O’Okwemba who is also PEN Kenya Centre’s President. Professor Elizabeth Orchardson-Mazrui was until March last year when she retired, a professor of Fine Art & Design at Kenyatta University and a well-known fine artist. She has several books among them Sheila Lets Write to God, Seasons of the Jacarandas, Nzinga: The Warrior Queen, Bitter Sweet a poetry collection and The Adventures of Mekatilili. She writes both for adults and children. More about her: see more of her publications here. On the other hand, Ambassador Ifeoma Akabogu-Chinwuba is apart from being a prolific writer also a career diplomat and is currently ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire. As a writer her treatises include novels Fearless, Merchants of Flesh, Waiting for Maria and an anthology of poetry titled African Romance.

Read more...

This is proving to be a great year for novels in translation. The Morocco Book Awards were announced a couple of days ago with winners in six categories, including translation, literature and poetry. Winners were selected from 175 submissions, 36 of which were in the literature category, 37 in poetry, and 35 in translation.

The biggest winner was Tareq Bakari for his novel Numedia which came out last year Morocco Book Award. The novel has also been shortlisted for the 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF).

 

Numedia is narrated by a Frenchwoman, Julia, and tells the life story of an orphaned Moroccan boy named Murad. Murad is cursed by the people of his village. Ostracised, insulted and beaten, he turns to love in an attempt to take revenge on fate: first with Khoula, who becomes pregnant; then Nidal, his classmate and fellow comrade in resistance; then Julia, seen as the French coloniser, and with his final love Numedia, the mute Berber. The rich story of Numedia unfolds against the backdrop of the real-life historical, political and religious landscape of Morocco. Numedia tells the story of a Moroccan intellectual searching for identity through a series of relationships.

 

Read more...

Crucible for Silver ..

Published 2008 ‘Crucible for Silver & Furnace for Gold’ has been hailed as re-writing gender in times of HIV-AIDS in contemporary multi-racial Africa

Read more »

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands is a narration by Kemunto aka Kemu to her three girlfriends. We follow the four young girls as they mature into young ladies on this adventure called life

Read more »

The Shark Attack

Kadzo must now spill the beans! Yes, the value of her amputated leg out-weighs that of the thousands, or even millions of shillings earned from peddling and transporting Mono-eye’s cargo

Read more »