Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo win Caine Prize for African Writing

Mame Bougouma Diene and Woppa Diallo, hailing from Senegal, have been declared the winners of the 24th Caine Prize for African Writing. Their outstanding collaborative work, “A Soul of Small Places,” captured the hearts of both judges and literary enthusiasts, marking a significant moment in African literature.

The Caine Prize, dedicated to honouring and advancing African storytelling, presented an illustrious shortlist of exceptional writers for the 2023 edition. 

Also shortlisted are authors like Yejide Kilanko from Nigeria for “This Tangible Thing,” Tlotlo Tsamaase from Botswana for “Peeling Time (Deluxe Edition),” Ekemini Pius from Nigeria for “Daughters, By Our Hands” and Yvonne Kusiima from Uganda for “Weaving.”

The judging panel for the 2023 Caine Prize, chaired by Fareda Banda, a professor of Law at SOAS, University of London, acclaimed Diene and Diallo’s work, affirming the prize’s mission to elevate African literary voices.

Banda is joined by Edwige-Renée Dro, a writer and literary translator, Kadija George Sesay, the editor and founder of Mboka Festival, Jendella Benson, an author, and Head of Editorial at Black Ballad, and Warsan Shire, a renowned writer and poet known for her collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Indeed, the achievement of Diene and Diallo in “A Soul of Small Places” contributes to the vibrant tapestry of African literary excellence celebrated by the Caine Prize. 

This year’s award ceremony, held at One Birdcage Walk in Westminster, London, on October 2, 2023, was a testament to the enduring significance of African literature and its global impact. Literary enthusiasts worldwide join in applauding this remarkable achievement, underscoring the Caine Prize’s role as a beacon for African literary talent.

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