Nairobi, February 24, 2021
Announcement of Judges
Kendeka Prize for African Literature is honoured to announce Lucas Wafula (Kenya), Renee Edwige Dro (Côte d’Ivoire) and Remy Ngamije (Namibia) as the judges for the 2021 prize. The Panel will be chaired by Lucas Wafula.
Lucas Wafula is Editor-in-chief, and CEO, Booklyst Press Limited. He is also Director and Lead Facilitator, at Global Editorial Centre-KE. Lucas has been working as a publisher/editor for nearly 20 years now, during which he has worked with award-winning authors, authors of note, as well as young writers. He has worked in and on projects for, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and South Sudan. Lucas is passionate about growing African literature and helping budding writers sharpen their writing craft.
Edwige Renée Dro
Edwige Renée Dro is a writer, a literary translator and a literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. Her writings have been published by Bloomsbury, Harper Collins and in magazines like Popula, This is Africa, etc.
She has judged and facilitated many writing competitions such as the PEN International Short Story Prize, the AfroYoungAdult anthology project or the Bakwa Magazine Literary Translation workshops.
She strongly believes that arts and literature are the tools that can change a society for the better and in February this year, she set up 1949, a library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world. 1949’s mission is to unearth and shine the light upon the contributions of African and black women to the world in order to inspire present and future generations.
Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organization in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine, Namibia’s first and only literary magazine. His debut novel “The Eternal Audience Of One” is forthcoming from Scout Press (S&S).
His work has appeared in Litro Magazine, AFREADA, The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, The Amistad, The Kalahari Review, American Chordata, Doek! Literary Magazine, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, Santa Ana River Review, Columbia Journal, New Contrast, Necessary Fiction, Silver Pinion, Lolwe, Barzakh Magazine, Journal Periferias, The Forge Literary Magazine, Yellow Means Stay: An Anthology Of Love Stories From Africa, Menelique, Barely South Review, Bad Form Review, Hypertext Magazine, and The Selkie.
He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020. He was also longlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prize. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.
Comments from the Kendeka Prize Board
We are excited to have this panel to help us go through some of the best new writing to come out of Africa today. Their experience working with some of the most exciting writing talent in journals, anthologies, and novels between them will go a long way to shining a deserved light on the growth of the short story on the continent. The composition of this panel from three different regions of the continent underlines that this is a Pan African prize for all African citizens. We can’t wait to read the stories that these three judges will bring to us.
Kendeka Prize for African Literature
The Prize Kendeka Prize for Africa Literature is based in Kenya and it is administered by Solano Publications Ltd. Entrance is free and was opened on 1st February, 2021 and will close on 31st May, 2021. This is its’ first edition.
The Prize will be awarded for the best piece of unpublished short story either fiction or creative non-fiction. The first prize will be KShs.100,000 while the 2nd and the 3rd shall receive Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 respectively. The remaining two of the five short listed stories shall receive Kshs 5,000 each.
All long-listed stories shall be published in an anthology titled I Am listening, 2021 Edition. Winners shall be awarded at a ceremony to be held during the Nairobi International Book Fair.
Please send unpublished manuscripts to
- Entrants must be born in, or are citizens of any African country.
- One entry per writer.
- Manuscripts should be of between 3000 and 5000 words.
- All entries must be in English.
- Entries should be attached in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format, with the title of the story as the file name.
- The first page of the story should include the name of the author, the title of the story, country of origin and the number of words.
- The entry must be typed in Times New Roman 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing.
- Entries must be sent as attachments to an email.
- The email to which the story is attached must include the legal name of the writer, telephone number, a short Bio, age, and country of residence.
- Entrants agree that the prize organizers may publicize the fact that a story has been entered, long listed, or shortlisted for the prize.
- An author of a long-listed story agrees to its inclusion in an anthology, and to work with editors to get the story ready for publication.
- Every author confirms that the submission is their original work, it has not been published anywhere else, and that it has not been long listed in any other prize.
- Every author gives exclusive global print and digital rights to Solano Publications Ltd for the long-listed stories for publication in an anthology. The author retains the copyright.
- The judges’ decision is final.
For more details, visit www.solanopublications.com
About the Short Story Prize
The prize is an annual event and it is an initiative of Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer, through Solano Publications Ltd. It aims at giving African writers, especially the unpublished a platform on which to show case their work. Through this platform more people will have access to their work which will in turn inspire more writing.
We want to hear stories of the beauty of our people, the ingenious architect of the pyramids and that of Timbuktu, the snow-capped mountains in the tropics, the roar of the Victoria Falls, the wild savannas and much more.
Timelines for the Prize
Submissions: From 1st February to 31st May 2021
Judging: 1st June to 31August 2021
Long List; First week of August
Short List; Third week of August
Prize Giving Ceremony; 1st October at Sarit Centre, during the Nairobi International Book Fair
The Prize Advisory Board Members
James Murua – A blogger, podcaster, journalist, and editor who has written for a variety of media outlets in a career spanning print, web and TV. His online space www.jamesmurua.com focuses on literary news and reviews. He was a judge of the 2020 Cain Prize for African Writing. He is the Chairman to the Board.
Andrew Maina – A writer and a representative of Solano Publications Ltd.
Dr Tom Odhiambo – A Senior Lecturer in Literature, at the University of Nairobi
Muthoni wa Gichuru – A short story writer, a multiple award winner of the Burt Award for African Writing and a coordinator AMKA, space for women writers, Kenya
Mercy Kiragu – A psychologist
Patrick Gatobu – A public policy expert
William Mureithi – A writer and lecturer at Kagumo Teachers College