Announcement: Kendeka Prize for African Literature

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 | Photo: Kendeka Prize

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 | Photo: Kendeka Prize

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.

Remy Ngamije | Photo: Kendeka Prize

Remy Ngamije

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.
James Murua,
| 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

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 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

Breaking: South Sudan ranked the most corrupt nation in E. Africa region

President Salva Kiir Mayardit |Photo: © Thessherald

South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, has once again been ranked the most corrupt country in the East African region, followed by Somalia in the Horn of Africa.

A 2020 report by Transparency International ranked the country the second most corrupt across the globe, followed by Somalia. Syria took the lead.

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI), ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, drawing on 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives.

It uses a scale of 0 to 100, zero being the score for the most corrupt. A score below 50 indicates serious levels of corruption in the public sector.

In the latest report, Rwanda was ranked the least corrupt in East Africa with 54 points and was followed by Tanzania with 38, Kenya with 31, Uganda 27 and Burundi 19.

U.S. pledges $108m in humanitarian assistance for S. Sudan

The Emblem of the State Department, USA.
Official Emblem of the United States (Photo: US)

Sept 27, 2020 (Thessherald)–In the face of the ongoing alarming humanitarian crisis facing the people of South Sudan, the United States has pledged $108 million in humanitarian aid to help alleviate their suffering across the region.

The pledge was announced two days ago, at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, entitled “A Dialogue with the World’s Top Ten Donors on Global Humanitarian Needs,” hosted by the United States.

“We announced nearly $108 million in humanitarian assistance for the people South Sudan, including South Sudanese in neighboring countries. This funding includes nearly $97 million from the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and more than $11 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance,” the U. S. said in its statement.


Since the onset of the conflict in South Sudan in 2013, the United States has contributed nearly $5.5 billion and an additional $ 64 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the response, including refugees and those affected by conflict and natural disasters, to nearly $907 million in Fiscal Year 2020 alone and nearly $5.5 billion since the start of the crisis in 2014, including more than $64 million in supplemental humanitarian assistance to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.”

“Heavy rains, fighting between armed groups, food insecurity, a deteriorating economic situation, and the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded an already dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.”

“In this response to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, the United States supports the operations of a network of nearly 30 non-governmental organizations, including faith-based organizations, and international organizations like the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Children’s Fund, the World Food Program, the International Organization for Migration, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance, both in South Sudan and globally.”

The United States reaffirms its commitment to support the people of South Sudan in these difficult situations in their lives.

“We will continue to be a catalyst for the international response to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan.”

UNHCR Envoy visits S. Sudan, expected to meet Vice-President Nyandeng

Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior speaking during a rally.
Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior |Photo:File

Sept 21, 2020 (Thessherald)–The UNHCR Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey has visited South Sudan and is expected to meet South Sudan’s Vice-President for Gender and Youth Cluster Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior at her residence in Juba.

According to an official statement extended to The South Sudan Herald by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the meeting is scheduled to take place at this very morning hour, and is scheduled to discuss a wide range of issues related to the refugee situation in South Sudan.

“Ambassador will meet with Vice President HE Rebecca Nyandeng today at 11 A:M at her office and will meet the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Hon Deng Dau at 2 PM at MOFA. Ambassador Affey will brief the leadership of the country on the High Commissioner Initiative on comprehensive Solution for South Sudanese Refugees in the region,” the statement partly reads.


Since 2018, South Sudan has become 143rd country to accede to both the 1951 Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.

The country hosts more thousands of refugees from its neighboring countries, despite all the challenges of civil war that has displaced a large number of its own population.

Egypt seeks military base in Somaliland, Ethiopia draws redline

August 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Dina Mufti, has said that the Egyptian government’s intention to establish a military base in the East African region, particularly in Somaliland, will not come at the expense of Ethiopia’s interests and safety.

Addressing a weekly news briefing, Mufti stressed that, “Egypt as a sovereign country reserves the right to establish relations with any country [in the region]. But this should not come at the expense of Ethiopia’s stability.”

Recent reports have said Egypt is trying to establish a military base in Somaliland, a breakaway state in northern Somalia not recognized as an independent country.

Late in July, a delegation from Egypt met with Musa Bihi Abdi, Somaliland’s self-declared leader, and reportedly proposed setting up a military camp in the northwestern part of the territory.

The Ethiopian government said it was following developments very closely. “That is a red line for us,” he said, adding that Ethiopia wants friendly relations with Somaliland, despite its non-state status.

Some analysts see Egypt’s move as retaliation against Somalia, a country that supports Ethiopia’s rights on the Nile as Ethiopia and Egypt continue to wrangle over Ethiopia’s $5 billion hydroelectric Nile dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

After the failure of US-sponsored talks this February between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, the African Union brought the three countries together for continued negotiations in June.

Last week, Ethiopia submitted a proposal on the filling of the dam – a proposal met with misgivings by Egypt and Sudan, which asked for time to review it.

Kenya announces two new Covid-19 cases, declares tough measures

Kenyan President Uhuru/ Photo: File

(Thessherald)–Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced two more cases on Sunday, just two days after the country declared its first COVID-19 in Nairobi.

In a televised speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued the following tough measures.

  1. Restrict travel to Kenya from all countries with reported Corona cases
  2. Only Kenyan citizens to be allowed into Kenya provided they go to self quarantine or govt facility. In force for 30 days
  3. All persons who’ve come to Kenya in last 14 days must self quarantine
  4. Schools suspended with immediate effect. Day schools closed from tomorrow, boarding schools by Wednesday. Universities and colleges by Friday
  5. Govt and companies to allow employees to work from home except essential services
  6. Use cashless transactions like Mpesa and cards. Appeals for reduced transaction costs from the providers
  7. Avoid congregations, weddings, funerals
  8. Avoid shopping places and minimize congestion in public transport
  9. Limit visitors to hospitals
  10. Hospitals and malls encouraged to provide water, soap, sanitizers and ensure regular cleaning and disinfecting places