Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prizes 2016

The second annual Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prizes for African Literature were awarded earlier this month at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. As discussed previously on this blog, the Mabati-Cornell is the only literary award going to writers publishing in African languages.

Mabati-Cornell, which was founded in late 2014 by Cornell faculty Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi and Caine Prize for African Writing director Dr. Lizzie Attree, recognizes literature in the Swahili language. Its sponsorship by by the Kenyan company Mabati Rolling Mills led Mukoma Wa Ngugi to state that "the prize sets an historical precedent for African philanthropy by Africans and shows that African philanthropy can and should be at the centre of African cultural production."

This year's prizes (announced on 14 Dec. 2016) went to:
  • Idrissa Haji Abdalla (Tanzania), for Kilio cha Mwanamke (fiction #1)
  • Hussein Wamaywa (Tanzania), for Moyo Wangu Unaungua (fiction #2)
  • Ahmed Hussein Ahmed (Kenya), for Haile Ngoma ya Wana (poetry)
The 2015 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili prizes went to:
  • Anna Samwel (Tanzania), for Penzi la Damu (fiction #1)
  • Enock Maregesi (Tanzania), for Kolonia Santita (fiction #2)
  • Mohammed K. Ghassani (Tanzania), for N'na Kwetu (poetry #1)
  • Christopher Bundala  (Tanzania), Kifaurongo (poetry #2)

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