A Round-up of Recent African Award Winners

Congratulations to all the winners listed below!

The winners for the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing were announced on September 4, 2010. Ellen Banda-Aaku won with Patchwork for the fiction category and Pius Adesanmi’s You’re Not a Country, Africa! won the non-fiction category.

From the Publisher:

Destined from birth to inhabit two very different worlds – that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo, and that of her mother, his mistress – this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl’s attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion a future for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into. Beautifully constructed, warm and wise, this is a novel that will transport the reader to a world in which we can all become more of the sum of our parts.

In this groundbreaking collection of essays Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what it is that Africa means to him as an African, and by extension to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes. This is a question that exercised some of the continent’s finest minds in the twentieth century, but which pan-Africanism, Negritude, nationalism, decolonisation and all the other projects through which Africans sought to restore their humanity ultimately failed to answer. Crisscrossing the continent, Adesanmi engages with the enigma that is Africa in an attempt to make meaning of this question for all twenty-first century Africans.

Nadifa Mohamed won the 2010 Betty Trask Prize with her novel, Black Mamba Boy, while  Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani won a Betty Trask Award for her debut novel, I Do Not Come to You by Chance.

Olufemi Terry, from Sierra Leone, won the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story Stickfighting Days, which was published in Chimurenga vol 12/13.  The story, along with the other four shortlisted stories and other stories written at the 2010 Caine Prize Workshop, has been published in the collection, A Life in Full and Other Stories.

Two writers will share the 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature:  Tenants of the House by Wale Okediran and Coconut by Kopano Matlwa.



  1. What a wonderful post! I’ve had I Do Not Come to You By Chance and Black Mamba Boy on my radar for quite some time and hope to get to them soon. The others were new to me and look interesting too!


  2. I didn’t realize there was a Penguin award for African fiction so thanks for bringing it to my attention. All of these books sound fabulous, but of course they’re ones I’ve never heard of before. One thing I’d definitely like to do is read more African writers, so this has given me plenty of ideas!


    • The Penguin award is new. This is the first year that it has operated. Yes, you do need to read more African writers as I continue plugging works from the continent 🙂 come back often and do ask if you need any suggestions.


  3. Hey Kinna…some of these sound fantastic. I have read Nwaubani’s novel and didn’t care for it very much, but Black Mamba Boy sounds like it could be an amazing read. Thanks for sharing these!!


    • Really pity. I loved the Nwaubani book. I’m yet to read Black Mamba Boy but I do agree that it sounds good. Although, I;m getting a bit tired to War in Africa books ;). hmm… gues it still our reality on this continent.


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