Kendeka Prize for African Literature announces shortlist for 2023

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature has unveiled its shortlist for 2023. This prestigious literary award celebrates the best unpublished short stories, encompassing both fiction and creative non-fiction, by African writers. The announcement of the shortlist was made on Friday, September 29th, 2023.

According to a statement, a distinguished panel of three judges, chaired by Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda from Zambia, embarked on a meticulous selection process that saw entries from 25 African nations sifted through. Richard Ali from Nigeria and Pasomi Mucha from Kenya joined Natasha in the panel. Their task was not an easy one, given the wealth of talent across the continent.

Here are the six remarkable shortlisted stories, listed in no particular order:

  1. “We Came for Mangoes” by Hussani Abdulrahim from Nigeria.
  2. “Matlhalerwa” by Keabetswe Molotsi hailing from Botswana.
  3. “The Lance Corporal’s Door” by Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi, also from Nigeria.
  4. “The Collector of Tears” by Evalyne Muliwa representing Kenya.
  5. “Stolen Years” by Yanjanani l. Banda, a talent from Malawi.
  6. “At the End of the Day” by Justice Jostino Ripinga, proudly South African.

The competition promises to be fierce as these stories showcase the diverse narratives and storytelling prowess of African writers.

The much-anticipated winners will be revealed during the Award Ceremony scheduled for Saturday, October 7th, 2023, at the idyllic Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge in Thika, Kenya. The first prize comes with a substantial reward of Kshs 100,000, while the second and third prizes offer Kshs 50,000 and 25,000, respectively.

For more information and updates on the Kendeka Prize for African Literature, visit the official website at

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