James Currey Prize for African Literature announces 2022 jury, opens call for entries

The James Currey Prize for African Literature has announced the jury for the 2022 edition and made a call for submissions.

The founder and director of the prize, Onyeka Nwelue, made the announcement on the 15th of October 2021 from his Oxford base, where he is currently an Academic Visitor at the African Studies Centre at University of Oxford. 

Onyeka Nwelue

Nwelue said: “As we announce the jury and calls for submission for next year’s prize, we are delighted to also announce the James Currey Fellowship, in cooperation with African Studies Centre. We are grateful to University of Oxford for this privilege to partner.”

Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, a Nigerian writer and poet, won the inaugural James Currey Prize for African Literature with his manuscript, And Then He Sang a Lullaby.  He received the cash prize of £1000, an agency representation, a laptop (gifted by the Jury Chair, Sarah Inya-Lawal) and an offer for a book deal. 

The James Currey Prize was founded in 2020. According to Onyeka: “The pivot for the James Currey Prize for African Literature, that we instituted in 2020, for an unpublished full-length work of fiction intends to perpetuate the value of the African Writers Series and other such initiatives in contemporary African literature exposure, and distribution.”

  1. a) Writers may enter up to two unpublished full-length manuscripts.
  2. b) Entry forms must be submitted by April 1st, 2022 to submission@jamescurreyprize.com

A longlist of ten titles will be announced on June 1st, 2022.

A shortlist of three titles will be announced on July 1st, 2022.

The winner will be announced on September 3rd, 2022.

For more details: 


The Jury 

  1. Ever Obi (Chair) is a business executive and fiction writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and University of Lagos, where he was awarded a master’s degree in risk management. He was born and raised in Aba, the Enyimba City.

Some Angels Don’t See God is his second novel. He is also the author of the acclaimed mystical novel, Men Don’t Die.

  1. Charmaine R Mujeri is a Zimbabwean based theatre and film  actress and writer. Nominated in 2020 for AMAA as best supporting actress for her role as Zoe in Mirage and ASDA best newcomer and supporting actress as MacDuff in the Reps theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. 

She is best known for her role as Charmaine in the award winning local film Cook Off that was incidentally the first Zimbabwean production on Netflix. 

Her most notable performances are in the Danai Gurira play, The Convert as Prudence, and  Kaguvi in Blessing Hungwes Lovers in Time.

Some of the play’s that she has appeared in include

Finding Temeraire,Dead man’s cell phone, For Colored girls, Ruvajena, Executive Decision, Macbeth, Hwindi , The Good Minister from Kunyarara. She has appeared in films like: Suitcase

Escape, Finding Temeraire, Flora and Dambudzo, Shaina, Cook Off, Mirage, Nyami Nyami and the eggs if evil.

Born February 11 1983, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Charmaine is an advocate and avid student of  Traditional Zimbabwean religion and culture, has contributed greatly to the sector through her roles in landmark plays such Lovers in time, The Good Minister from Kunyarara and  The Convert.

With a career spanning over 15years in the Arts, Charmaine has performed live origional poetry pieces at Harare International Festival of the Arts, Shoko festival and International Images Film Festival.

Charmaine also garnered valuable experience in film and writing  working with  ICAPA Trust and was one of the authors in the “Breaking the Silence ” an anthology of short stories.

  1. Born in Ghana, Thomas Duke Labik Amanquandor is currently a research fellow at the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, Halmstad University-Sweden. 

He holds an MSc in African Studies from the University of Oxford, a 2-year MSc in Sociology of Law from Lund University, a 3-year bachelor’s degree in Integrated Development Studies (First Class Honours), and a 2-year Diploma in Integrated Community Development (Distinction), both from the University for Development Studies in Ghana.

Due to his academic excellence and contributions to sustainable community development, he won Ghana’s ITEA Overall Best Student Award in 2018. The University of Oxford subsequently selected him as one of three outstanding African students for the University’s prestigious Eni Scholarship.

He currently works on ICLD and EU funded anti-corruption research projects in Uzbekistan, Vietnam and South Africa. Labik Amanquandor is also the author of the forthcoming  historical novel “The Half Moon.”

  1. Dr. Suraj Yengde is one of India’s leading scholars and public intellectuals. Named as one of the “25 Most Influential Young Indian” by GQ magazine and the “Most influential Young Dalit” by Zee, Suraj is an author of the bestseller Caste Matters and co-editor of award winning anthology The Radical in Ambedkar. Caste Matters was recently featured in the prestigious “Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade” list by The Hindu. Caste Matters is being translated in seven languages. 

Suraj’s recent appointment was Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He holds a research associate position with the department of African and African American Studies, a non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, and is part of the founding team of Initiative for Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability (IARA) at Harvard University. He has studied in four continents (Asia, Africa, Europe, North America), and is India’s first Dalit Ph.D. holder from an African university (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg). He is an International Human Rights attorney by qualification from India and the UK.

Suraj’s forthcoming books are: “Caste: A New History of the World” by Allen Lane, 2022, and a biography of Dr. B R Ambedkar with Juggernatur Press, 2022

Suraj has published over 100 essays, articles, and book reviews in multiple languages in the field of caste, race, ethnicity studies, and labor migration in the global south. Currently, he is involved in developing a critical theory of Dalit and Black Studies.

Suraj has been nominated for India’s highest literary award “Sahitya Akademi” and is a recipient of the “Dr. Ambedkar Social Justice Award” (Canada, 2019) and the “Rohit Vemula Memorial Scholar Award” (2018).

Suraj was recently featured on the BBC World Service, and WGBH Boston’s multi-part series on Caste in America sponsored by the Pulitzer Center. Suraj inaugurated a popular column called ‘Dalitality’ at the Indian Express and is currently the only column in print media to have Dalit centric opinions. In addition, he writes a weekly column entitled “Fourth World” in Marathi language for Daily Sakal.

Suraj’s cover story for the Caravan magazine explores the important question of ‘Race, Caste and what it will take to make Dalit Lives Matter?’ It is the first extensive treatment of the Dalit-Black question.

Suraj is a transnational Dalit rights activists involved in building solidarities between Dalit, Black, Roma, Indigenous, Buraku and Refugee peoples in the Fourth World project of marginalized peoples.

His recent work with the philosopher Cornel West has received global attention and calls for unity between African Americans and Dalits.

His writings have appeared in Al Jazeera, BBC, The Caravan, LiveMint, The Sunday World, TheWire.in, Scroll, Mail & Guardian Africa, Saturday Star, Open Democracy and is a syndicated columnist at The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Huffington Post, The Print, The Citizen, Globe & Post, The Mexican Times, The Conversation, among others. He is frequently invited by the media and corporations to offer expert advice on the issues of caste, migration, race relations and international law. Economic Times did a feature on him on the occasion of Independence Day.

Suraj has worked with leading international organizations in Geneva, London, and New York. He is a co-convener of Dalit-Black Lives Matter symposium and the Dalit and Black Power Movement. He runs a monthly Ambedkar Lecture Series at Harvard. He is an associate editor of Southern Journal of Contemporary History.

He is a DPhil Student at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

  1. Olukorede S Yishau is an award-winning journalist, novelist and short story writer. His first novel, In the Name of Our Father, has been a subject of theses by students in Nigerian universities. The novel, described by two-time Booker finalist Chigozie Obioma as a ‘work of deceptive simplicity’, was nominated for the 2021 Nigeria Prize for Literature. His collection of short stories Vaults of Secrets was published October 1st, 2020.

His poems were published in an anthology of poetry ACTIVISTS POETS. His essays and short stories have appeared in different publications.

He has in his kitty honours such as: Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) Columnist of the Year (2015), NMMA Entertainment Reporter of the Year (2015), NMMA Capital Market Reporter of the Year (2013), NMMA Aviation Industry Reporter of the Year (2003), Finalist, Union Bank Banking and Finance Reporter of the Year (2003), Finalist, Olu Aboderin Entertainment Reporter of the Year (2001), Finalist, Print Journalist of the Year (2005), and Finalist, Political Reporter of the Year (2006).

He holds a degree in Mass Communications from the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria as well as a professional diploma in Public Relations.

He is concluding work on a novel, a travel book and a collection of epistolary essays.

  1. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, MFR, is a Nigerian filmmaker and entertainment executive who has been called “the queen of Nollywood films”.

She is the founder of globally acclaimed film ceremony, Africa Movie Academy Awards. The Guardian documents that she pioneered the screening of Nollywood films at international film festivals.

She directed the first music video of hip-hop sensation, P-Square. In 2012, she was bestowed a Member of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to the entertainment industry. She is a TED fellow.

  1. Teri Sillo is a British novelist, singer songwriter, artist, pianist and guitarist. She was born in Sheffield, England, studied Law at the University of Liverpool and was called to the Bar of England and Wales as a barrister by the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, London. She loves live classical music shows and the theatre.
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