Zambia and Kenya are #Writivism2018 big winners

Zambia and Kenya took the honors at the 2018 Writivism Festival, on the evening of August 19 in Kampala, as their nationals Ms. Chisanga Mukuka and Mr. Mbogo Ireri, won the Koffi Addo Nonfiction and Writivism short story prizes, respectively.

With their stories “Belonging” and “Hopes and Dreams“, the two emerging writers take home USD 500$, a chance to attend a one-month writing residency at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and a publishing contract with Black Letter Media.

Akwaeke Emezi, the chair of the Koffi Addo Prize judging panel said of Belonging, “The winner of the 2018 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction is a powerful and excellently written narrative that looks at liminality as marked by bureaucracy and borders, as well as hurt and nostalgia of various exiles.”

Originally from Zambia, Chisanga Mukuka was raised in Lesotho before moving to Cape Town, South Africa, where she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Media Theory and Practice at the University of Cape Town. She has always had a love for words and literature and recently took steps towards developing her own writing, both fiction and non-fiction.


Prof. Taban Lo Liyong, headliner of the #Writivism2018 festival hands over the Koffi Addo award to Chisanga Mukuka as Shadreck Chikoti, chair of the Short Story prize judging panel looks on 

Mbogo Ireri, in a speech read by Nyambura Mutanyi of the Kenyan-based ‘2 Girls and a Pod,’ said:

Someone said that writing is screaming in the dark, hoping to be heard. I believe this to be true and thank you Writivism for giving this story a bigger space to scream from. By encouraging people to tell stories, you are enshrining an ancient art-form that could be dying and in a small way re-educating a society in danger of being colonized by digital technology.


Nyambura Mutanyi, of 2 Girls and a Pod represents Mbogo Ireri at #Writivism2018 festival. 

Mbogo is the first Kenyan to win the Writivism prize, and Mukuka the first Zambian. Previous winners have been from Uganda (Anthea Paelo 2013, Acan Innocent 2016), South Africa (Saaleha Idrees Bamjee 2014, Charles King 2017), Nigeria (Pemi Aguda 2015, Munachim Amah 2017) and Ghana (Yvette Tetteh 2016). Mbogo and Mukuka’s stories were selected from a joint shortlist of six, including Ope Adedeji (Nigeria), Karis Onyemenam (Nigeria), Obinna Jones (Nigeria) and Mali Kambandu (Zambia).

Meanwhile: the 2019 Writivism Short Story and Koffi Addo Nonfiction prizes are open for submission between November 1, and December 31, 2018. See full guidelines here.

Read: Africa in Dialogue Interviews with the Writivism 2018 shortlisted writers.

Listen: 2 Girls and a Pod special episodes on the Writivism 2018 shortlist, reviewing the stories, and featuring the shortlisted writers.


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