Kiswahili is a Bantu language and the mother tongue of the Swahili people. It is spoken by Eastern and other parts of Southeast communities in Africa. Writers and authors from Kiswahili speaking countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo will now be able to showcase their literary skills as the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was announced at the just concluded Ake Art & Books Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is sponsored by Kenya’s Mabati Rolling Mills and USA’s Cornell University. The prize will recognizes excellent writing in African languages and encourages translation from, between and into African languages.
The prize will be awarded to the best unpublished manuscript or book published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The prize money of 15,000 US dollars will be given to three writers and the winning entry will be published in Kiswahili by East African Educational Publishers (EAEP). The best poetry book will be translated and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund.