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

S. Sudanese continue to suffer around the globe at the hands of cruel leaders

Shame on our leaders who have failed to put the interests of their citizens above their personal needs..

President Salva Kiir Mayardit |Photo: Via Facebook

Opinion | By Mary Nyibol Maker

To my fellow South Sudanese across the globe. It’s with deepest regrets and a ton of frustrations that I write to you. My heart is heavy as I jot down what I am about to reveal to you all.

As we all know, we are all scattered throughout the world. Some are fortunate enough to be exposed to a less toxic environments but many are caught up in the hands of people with bent rules where those in power tend to use those rules to suit their interests.

It’s obvious that, over the years, our people in Egypt have been going through a hell of time in the hands of Egyptians and yet our government has done absolutely Nothing to intervene. This is a shame, isn’t?

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Africans were thrown out of their residential apartments and beaten almost to death in China. It’s certain that our own people were among this group being humiliated and tortured by the Chinese, yet there’s something called “China-South Sudan relations” and the Chinese of all the people have come, exploited and exhorted our God-given resources, and our leaders just watched on. Isn’t this a shame, too?

Again, 2020 in Uganda, some of our young people were found not far from their home and the police stomped towards them and beat them like animals for no apparent reason. What is Uganda to us, a brother or sister right? The president of Uganda is the foster carer of our own president and yet, the children of the client are being mistreated in the watch of their parent by the foster father/carer, Mr. M7. Isn’t this just too shameful guys?

Nevertheless, just this Saturday gone, the 30th of January 2021, a bunch of our young people who were eating out like any other young persons, were again stomped towards by the Kenyan police, rounded up and asked to pay TKK( Toa Kitu Kidogo. Which means give whatever little you have. In other words, bribe us so we can let you go).

This is the reason as to why they were caught. Kenya has its curfew starting at 10:30pm( I was informed). The boys left home just before eight in the even to buy food. They met their friends and they decided to chit chat a little. At 21:00 pm, they decided to go home because they were mindful of the curfew time.

A group of Kenyan police officers seen on duty in Kakuma Refugee Camp |Photo: Thessherald

While approaching their house, a police car pulled up and the police officers (Affande) stomped towards the young people and immediately handcuffed them. When the young people asked why they were being handcuffed while the curfew time was still, the police offices asked for TKK.

The young people told the officers that they had no money. The officers got bitter and demanded for five thousand Kenya shillings each, otherwise, they threatened to drag the young people to the prison, and if by morning they hadn’t paid, the young people would appear before the court and explain why they were before the Judge.

As if that wasn’t enough, our young people were tortured through beatings, thrown into a dark room filled with urine and bad odour. On top of that, they were abused that they needed to go back to their country(SS) where there were no rules and where people do whatever each one pleases. “Go back to your country”, they were told. What kind of humiliation is this my people? Isn’t this too shameful ?

Kenya, like Uganda is a sisterly country with a head of state that has been initiating the return of peace to the people of South Sudan. If our people are being mistreated in Kenya, it’s because our leaders have failed us. Kenyans don’t see us going back to our country anytime sooner, hence, the reason they see us as a burden on them.

My people, the equation the other countries are using to arrive to their answers is simple: “If South Sudan is mistreating, torturing, dehumanizing her own people, who are we not to do the same?” This is the reality and it’s a sad reality!

The question is, how much longer should the people of South Sudan continue to suffer in the hands of people who are not even close to them by all means? If it’s intelligence, we have it! If it’s education, we have highly educated, highly qualified professionals who could do so exceedingly well. If it’s resources, we have a country that flows with milk and honey! And if it’s hardships, sufferings and struggles, our forefathers and present fathers and mothers have bitterly experienced it. What exactly don’t we know or have really for us to be treated like a piece of “sh**t?

What we need is simple so that all this humiliation can stop! We need a stable, peaceful and secure country. Please give us back our country!. We want to go back home!!! South Sudan is the only home we can walk freely and proudly.

The writer is a South Sudanese activist and human rights defender.

The views expressed in this “Opinion Section” belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Sudan Herald. Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at:

Museveni says he doesn’t regret calling South Sudanese “blue people”

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta describes South Sudan’s citizens as “blue people” |Photo: File

Responding to members of the press this afternoon, Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said he doesn’t regret referring to South Sudanese as “blue people” and shouldn’t be questioned over his comments on South Sudan.

Mr. President, your recent remarks on South Sudan has caused an online uproar. Do you regret calling South Sudanese “blue people“?.

“No, I don’t regret it. Who has the audacity to question my comment?,” the Journalists quoted Museveni as saying.

According to reports, Museveni was seen walking away and refused to take further questions from another journalist who wanted to know the ulterior motive behind the derogatory comment.

Museveni made the remarks earlier this week at the 35th NRM Victory Anniversary in Kampala, Uganda.

So far, the reason behind the statement remains obscure.

Since South Sudan descended into conflict in 2013, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been a staunch ally of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the two leaders still maintain their close relationship.

Outrage as Museveni describes S. Sudanese as “blue people”

Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni believes that South Sudanese are not actually black but blue |Photo: File

South Sudanese on social media are calling on the 76-year-old Ugandan leader, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, to explicitly clarify the meaning of “blue people” and apologize to the nation for the derogatory remarks.

Responding to the insulting remarks made by the Ugandan head of state, the Press Secretary in the Office of the President, Ateny Wek Ateny, called on Museveni to shed light on his statement.

“President Yoweri Museveni himself knows that there are only the white, the Asian and the black people. We never heard of blue people. President Museveni has to explain to the world,” said Ateny Wek, presidential spokesperson.

This is not the first time the Ugandan leader, Museveni has openly insulted the people of South Sudan.

In the last few weeks, Museveni termed the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, as a laboratory for bad leadership, however, such a remark went unnoticed by the South Sudanese government.

Kiir congratulates Museveni on his re-election

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has congratulated his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on his re-election and pledged to work with him in his new administration.

“On behalf of the people of the Republic of South Sudan, allow me to congratulate you on your re-election as President af Uganda. Your election victory is a testimony of trust that National Resistance Movement (NRM) has earned from Ugandans. As well, it’s a sign of their appreciation for the efforts you have made towards developing Uganda in the last 34 years,” said President Kiir in a congratulatory message to his long-term ally.

He praised the positive role played by Museveni in the South Sudanese peace agreement, as well as his continued quest for peace and stability in the region.

“Under your leadership, Uganda has remained a key regional partner, both in economic and peace support in the region. The people of South Sudan are particularly grateful for your contribution to restoration of peace in our country as exemplified by Uganda’s position as one of our peace guarantors.”

“I wish you well as you start your new mandate, and hope that Ugandans will embrace your vision and walk with you in lockstep as you strive towards achieving greater prosperity for the country. We all look forward to working with you on addressing common challenges within our region.”

According to the Ugandan Election Commission, Museveni obtained 5.85 votes, however, allegations of voter fraud still set a troubling precedent in his newly renewed administration.

UN Watch mocks Museveni’s election victory

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni |Photo: File

A Geneva-based human rights watchdog, UN Watch, has taken to social media accusing Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of killing, torturing and silencing dissidents as a way to continue holding on to power.

In a message posted on Twitter, the United Nations Watch ridiculed the entire electoral process leading up to Museveni’s victory — and questioned its fairness amid allegations of widespread voter fraud accompanied by arbitrary arrests, internet blackouts, and intimidation.

A screenshot of the UN Watch’s post

“Congratulations to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni on winning re-election after murdering, imprisoning & silencing opponents, shutting down the internet, and committing widespread voter fraud,” the group said in its statement.

Since the elections began on January 14, the president had shut down internet connections in an attempt to silence critics, opponents, and eyewitnesses from reporting electoral irregularities.

Last week, security forces cordoned off the home of prominent opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi better known as Bobi Wine, but the government denied that the police presence is part of the security protection.

Museveni declared winner amid allegations of voter fraud

Uganda’s election commission on Saturday declared incumbent Yoweri Museveni the winner of the presidential election, extending his 35-year rule as his main rival alleged fraud and urged citizens to reject the result.

Museveni won 5.85 million votes, or 58.64%, of the total, while main opposition candidate Bobi Wine won 3.48 million votes (34.83%), the electoral commission said in a televised news conference.

Originally published by the Reuters

President Museveni declares victory ahead of elections

As the people of Uganda are prepared to choose their next leader on January 14, the incumbent President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, says he has no doubt he will win the election by an overwhelming margin.

“Two days to victory,” declared Uganda’s long-term President— who has ruled with an iron fist for more than three decades.

Museveni faces stiff opposition from a 38-year-old musician, Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known by his stage name as Bobi Wine.

With only two days left for Ugandans to exercise their constitutional rights, the United States is concerned about reports of intimidation and repression against civil society groups.

“The U.S. government remains concerned over disturbing signs that civic space is closing. With the election only days away, restrictions on civil society organizations (CSOs), delayed accreditation of domestic observers by the Electoral Commission, and interference with non-partisan voter education programming funded by Uganda’s international democratic partners have raised serious concerns about Uganda’s preparedness for a transparent, inclusive election,” said U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown.

“We remain particularly concerned over how Ugandan institutions continue to block the bank accounts of several reputable and well-known CSOs, on questionable bases, preventing their important work on voter education, domestic election observation, public dialogues, and tracking and preventing election-related violence.”

“These are globally accepted non-partisan elections activities funded by the U.S., the European Union, and other international partners who are merely supporting the Ugandan people in living up to their own constitutionally mandated election standards.”

In recent months, more than 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the wake of an altercation between the Ugandan police and supporters of Bobi Wine.

‘Museveni kills more people than previous regimes combined’ – citizens

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni |Photo: Via Facebook
Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni |Photo: Via Facebook

Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is said to have killed more people compared to previous regimes, according to Ugandans who expressed their anger on social media.

The accusation comes after the president admitted publicly for the first time that some of his security forces were responsible for the killing of an NRM supporter.

“When I heard of the unfortunate death of Isaac Ssenyange alias Mando Zebra, Uganda’s boxer and former captain of the Bombers. I telephoned his wife who narrated to me the events in detail. Zebra was an NRM supporter, and was mobilising for us so well. He was also training many youth in the ghetto and giving them hope in their search for meaningful life,” Museveni narrated on his Facebook page.

“At first I thought they were thugs disguising in uniform, but as I continued investigations, I found out that Zebra was killed by security personnel.”

The 76-year-old Ugandan President explained that the slain NRM supporter would have seen him in the office, if he hadn’t fallen into the hands of his security personnel.

“Indeed, Zebra was meant to come and see me when he was killed. Zebra’s wife told me people in police uniform came to pick Zebra but he jumped over the wall and could have met another group who shot him.”

SPLM-IO welcomes lifting of travel restrictions on Machar

Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the SPLM-IO (Photo Credit: File)

Dec 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Office of the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, has strongly welcomed the recent communique issued at the 38th Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government on December 20, 2020 in Djibouti.

“The Office of the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, and Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) welcomes IGAD resolution number 9 on the freedom of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, as came out from the 38th Extraordinary Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, in Djibouti, on 20th December, 2020.”

On Sunday, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) clarified that there are currently no travel restrictions or bans imposed on the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and that he is free to travel anywhere in the world.

“The Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government underscored that currently there are no travel restrictions of any kind imposed by IGAD on the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny,” the IGAD said in a communique issued on Sunday.

Machar had been under house arrest in South Africa, and later in the Sudan capital Khartoum. After the signing of the peace deal, Igad officials said the restrictions had been lifted, but had not made formal documentation of it.

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