SAFAL-CORNELL KISWAHILI PRIZE FOR AFRICAN LITERATURE

Announcement of 2023 Winners

Friday 9th February 2024, Nairobi, Kenya… The winners of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2023 were awarded by Dr Caroline Asiimwe, Executive Secretary of the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) at a special ceremony at the Movenpick Residences in Westlands.

The Prize is supported by Safal Group, through its subsidiaries Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya, and ALAF Tanzania, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University, and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.

The 2023 judges; Prof Kyallo W. Wamitila of the University of Nairobi, Dr Zuhura Badru of the University of Dodoma and Mr Ali Mwalim Rashid of the State University of Zanzibar, selected Philipo Oyaro’s novel Dunia Duara (The Earth is Round), as the winner in the Fiction category, and Fatuma Salim’s poetry collection Changa La Macho (Sand in the Eyes) as the winner in the Poetry category. They both received prize money of US $5,000 Dollars each. This is the first time a woman has won in the poetry category.

Dunia Duara (The Earth is Round) is a crime detective story that employs technology in unravelling crimes; it has credible characters, powerful descriptive language and makes effective use of suspense.

The need to create a new, just society is a dominant theme in the anthology Changa La Macho (Sand in the Eyes), that employs multiple poetic personas, visual and figurative language. A good fusion of form and content.

In her speech, Dr Asiimwe congratulated the winners and praised the management of the Prize, its board, and the sponsors, led by Safal Group, for their important work in promoting literature in African languages, particularly Kiswahili.

The CEO of Safal Group, Mr. Anders Lindgren, also spoke at the ceremony and highlighted the importance of the Kiswahili language in the development of the East African region. “Through our support of these awards, The Safal Group is firmly committed to the course of African languages. I commend the SAFAL-MRM Foundation for organising the awards this year.”

On behalf of the panel of judges, Prof Wamitila (chair) commended the 2023 entrants for the high quality of their writing, saying that it made it very difficult for the judges to pick out the first-place winners. “This is sufficient evidence that we have a great treasure of creativity, especially among young people, that transcends the boundaries of each country, and which if sprinkled with the basics of writing and publishing literary works will greatly strengthen Kiswahili literature,” added Prof Wamatila.

Mr. Walter Bgoya of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, the official publisher of the winning manuscripts, said, “The Safal-Cornell Award has raised talented writers in the field of literature since it was established in 2014, and there is no doubt that it has given writers inspiration and made the award ceremonies a day of great joy in the lives of those who are lucky enough to win.”

The second-place winner in the Fiction category was Ahmad Simba (Tanzania) for his manuscript Safari Ya Maisha (The Journey of a Lifetime), and in the Poetry category was Lenard Mtesigwa (Tanzania) for his manuscript Ndani Ya Subira Kichwangomba. Each received 2,500 USD. Both were previously shortlisted in 2022 for different manuscripts.

Safari Ya Maisha (The Journey of a Lifetime) is an aesthetically appealing story with a well-crafted plot. The narration is captivating and enchanting; the reader easily visualizes the images of contemporary life and its challenges like family and local rivalries, crime and racial bigotry.

The anthology Ndani Ya Subira Kichwangomba, is striking because of its diversity of structural forms, figurative language and tone that fuses well with various topics discussed.

As earlier announced, other shortlisted works and authors were: Salome Anaishi by Nicholas Ogal, and Ushairi Wa Maisha Ya Kesho by John Karithi both from Kenya.

Two Short story collections were also shortlisted, Mtoto Wa Mama Na Hadithi Nyingine by Edwin Omindo (Kenya) and Koti La Karani Na Hadithi Nyingine by Stallone Joyfully (Tanzania).

 

The winners and their fellow shortlistees were in attendance during the award giving ceremony in Nairobi.

The Prize-winning works and authors are:

Fiction

1st Prize – Philipo Oyaro – Dunia Duara (Tanzania) $5,000

2nd Prize – Ahmad Simba – Safari Ya Maisha (Tanzania) $2,500

Poetry

1st Prize – Fatuma Salim – Changa La Macho (Tanzania) $5,000

2nd Prize – Lenard Mtesigwa – Ndani Ya Subira Kichwangomba (Tanzania) $2,500

 

Runners Up

Fiction: Nicholas Ogal – Salome Anaishi (Kenya)

Poetry: John Karithi – Ushairi Wa Maisha Ya Kesho (Kenya)

Short story collections

Edwin Omindo – Mtoto Wa Mama Na Hadithi Nyingine (Kenya)

Stallone Joyfully – Koti La Karani Na Hadithi Nyingine (Tanzania)

 

Notes to Editors

Kiswahili Prize Award Criteria: The prize is awarded to the best unpublished manuscript the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels.

In addition to the prizes, winning entries will also be considered for publication by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers in Tanzania while the winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund.

The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi to recognize writing in African languages and encourage translation from, between, and into African languages.

The Safal Group (which include Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd of Kenya and ALAF Limited in Tanzania) is the largest producer of Steel Roofing on the African continent with 36 operations in 12 countries. www.safalgroup.com

Mabati Rolling Mills Ltd (MRM) is a member of the Safal Group and is the largest supplier of Building Solutions in Kenya. Established more than 60 years ago, the company is a leading innovator offering top-of the range products catering for residential, commercial and industrial sectors. MRM’s brands like DUMUZAS ™, RESINCOT ™, VERSATILE™, LIFESTILE™, COVERMAX™, ULTRA-SPAN™ and SAFLOCK700™ are household names that are known and trusted by millions of consumers. www.mabati.com.

The Safal MRM Foundation, based in Mariakani Kenya, is the CSR arm of Mabati Rolling Mills. The Foundation’s mission is alleviation of human suffering and empowerment of communities to better their lives. The Foundation’s programs focus on Education, Health, Shelter and the Environment. www.safalmrmfoundation.org.

ALAF Limited (ALAF) is Tanzania’s leading steel roofing manufacturer. Established in 1960, ALAF has always, and continues to be, a key player in the development of the country’s construction sector. ALAF is a fully integrated operation, not only making steel roofing, but also producing the metal coated coils used by these roofing operations. ALAF manufactures metal tubing and piping for various applications. www.alaf.co.tz

The Africana Studies and Research Center enriches the academic, cultural, and social environments on the Cornell University Ithaca campus. Website: http://www.asrc.cornell.edu

Mkuki na Nyota Publishers is an independent, vibrant Tanzanian imprint publishing relevant, progressive, liberating, affordable and entertaining content. Established in 1991, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers emerged in response to the general absence of high quality, independent publishing in Tanzania. Its mission statement is to publish, “Relevant Books, Affordable Books, and Beautiful Books.” They have successfully published winning titles of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. http://www.mkukinanyota.com

The Africa Poetry Fund promotes and advances the development and publication of the poetic arts through its book series, contests, workshops, and seminars and through its collaborations with publishers, festivals, booking agents, colleges, universities, conferences and all other entities that share an interest in the poetic arts of Africa. Website: http://africanpoetrybf.unl.edu/

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o Foundation is powered by the interest and passion to raise the visibility of African Languages in Kenya, Africa and the world, as vehicles for performance, creativity, innovations, and scholarship. It sees African languages as the new intellectual frontier in everything from culture, biological sciences, technology and medicine. http://ngugiwathiongofoundation.org

Board of Trustees: Abdilatif Abdalla (Chair), Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Lizzy Attree, Walter Bgoya, Sarit Shah, Anthony Ng’ang’a, Henry Chakava, Chege Githiora, Clarissa Vierke, Farouk Topan, Carole Boyce Davies, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o.

Director: Munyao Kilolo.

Website: http://blogs.cornell.edu/kiswahiliprize/

Twitter Handle: @KiswahiliPrize

Instagram: @thekiswahiliprize

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mabati-Cornell-Kiswahili-Prize-for-AfricanLiterature/1534905843433822

Contact information: Munyao Kilolo, Lizzy Attree, Mukoma wa Ngugi – kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu

 

Denish Ochieng, Enos Teche, Abu Mburu win at the 5th Edition of Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition Awards

Nairobi, December 8, 2023 – Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM), a leading manufacturer of Building Solutions and member of the Safal Group®, announced winners of the 2023 Safal Eye in the Wild competition at an award ceremony held at the Norfolk Hotel. Denish Ochieng, Enos Teche, and Abu Mburu won positions 1,2,3 respectively and Vincent Chepkwony won the People’s Choice Award voted by the public.

The esteemed panel of judges, comprised of experts in photography and environmental conservation, faced the challenging task of selecting winners from the numerous impressive entries. The Gold, Silver, Bronze and People’s Choice award winners were revealed during the ceremony, each receiving generous cash prizes of USD 3,000, USD 2,000, USD 1,000 and USD 500 respectively.

The Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition, which ran from July 28 to October 15, 2023, received an overwhelming response from photographers, both professional and amateur, across Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania. This year’s theme of, “Drought in Focus,” inspired participants to capture powerful images that depict the harsh realities and the resilience of communities facing the devastating impact of drought in Africa.

The award ceremony honored the exceptional talent and creativity showcased by the participants. Distinguished guests, industry leaders, environmentalists, and photography enthusiasts gathered to recognize and applaud the winning photographers who skillfully conveyed the urgent need for environmental conservation and sustainable solutions.

Anders Lindgren, Safal Group CEO, expressed his pleasant view of this year’s competition, stating, “The Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition has not only grown in scope but has also become a powerful platform for driving conversations around environmental conservation. Today, we are celebrating those who have used their art to inspire change and raise awareness about the impact of drought on communities.”

Sarit Shah, Chairman of the Safal MRM Foundation, remarked, “We are proud to witness the impact that this competition has had in fostering a sense of responsibility towards environmental conservation. The award ceremony is not only a celebration of talent but also a call to action, urging all of us to continue working towards a sustainable future.”

In the powerful transformational story behind the winning photograph, the winner, Denish committed to empowering a retired forester, Dabaso Kantoma Sora  in Northern Kenya who plants indigenous, drought resisting trees in the North Horr town at the edge of Chalbi desert.  The Safal Group in addition generously committed to supporting Dabaso’s transformative journey by contributing Kshs 200,000.

The Chief Guest, Dickson Ritan, the Deputy Director, Parks and Reserves, Kenya Wildlife Services lauded the initiative as one that continues to support environmental conservation at a critical time when national disasters such as drought have affected Kenya.

The ceremony showcased highlights from the submitted photographs, providing a visual narrative of the competition’s journey and the stories captured through the lenses of talented photographers.

For more information about the Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition and to view the winning entries, please visit https://safaleyeinthewild.safalgroup.com/.

Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition Extends Submission Deadline to October 15th 2023

The Safal Group has announced an extension of the submission deadline for the Safal Eye in the Wild (SEIW) photography competition deadline to Sunday, October 15, 2023. The decision aims to provide photographers with additional time to craft impactful and thought-provoking entries that highlight this year’s theme of “Drought in Focus”.

Submissions were scheduled to close on September 15th but, due to increased demand and requests from photographers, the organizers have granted a four-week extension. This extension provides photographers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the subject matter, explore new angles, and capture the essence of the chosen environmental theme.

Photographers, both amateur and professional, are encouraged to submit their work, photographs showcasing the broad aspect of drought, its impact, protective measures, and ideas on how best to end it. Organizers hope that this extended submission period will allow for a wider range of voices to contribute to the dialogue on environmental conservation and sustainability.

Key Details for Submission:

Theme: “Drought in Focus”

Submission Deadline: Extended to Sunday, October 15th, 2023

Submission Guidelines: Entrants can submit up to three high-resolution photographs accompanied by a brief description highlighting the environmental message behind each image.

As the new submission deadline approaches, photographers are encouraged to explore their surroundings and capture this year’s theme.  The extended deadline not only allows for more participation but also underscores the urgency of addressing environmental issues. It is a call to action for photographers to use their craft to inspire change.

So, whether you are a seasoned photographer or an amateur enthusiast, head outdoors and contribute to the vital conversation through highlighting solutions that will help mitigate drought.

Call for Submissions: Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition

We are excited to announce our annual Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition 2023. The competition will run from 28 July to October 15, 2023, with an aim to ignite conversations and raise awareness about environmental conservation through the power of photography.

This year, the competition seeks to highlight the effects of drought on communities and the power of resourcefulness and innovation in combating the scourge. Drought in Africa continues to have dire and severe consequences, particularly for the agriculture-dependent communities in the region. Insufficient rainfall and prolonged dry spells have reduced crop yields, increased livestock losses, and exacerbated food shortages. This in turn, has caused a ripple effect significantly contributing to food insecurity in communities.

Photographers, both professional and amateurs, are invited to participate.

Submission Period: [July 28] – [October 15]

Theme: “Drought”

About the Competition: The annual campaign was launched in 2017 under the name ‘MRM Eye in the Wild Photography Competition. It ran for two years before rebranding in 2019 to the Safal Eye in The Wild Photography Competition to reflect the parent sponsor, The Safal Group. The campaign has witnessed tremendous growth and engagement, capturing the attention of participants from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Prizes: 1st Place: [USD 3,000] 2nd Place: [USD 2,000] 3rd Place: [USD 1,000], People’s Choice: [USD 500]

Submission Guidelines: 1. Visit https://safaleyeinthewild.safalgroup.com and follow the submission guidelines

Important Dates:

· Submissions Open: July 28, 2023

· Submissions Deadline: October 15, 2023

· Judging Period: 16th Oct – 16th Nov 2023

· Winners Announcement: 8th Dec 2023

Our esteemed panel of judges includes renowned professional photographers who share a passion for photography and environmental conservation.

Follow us on social media for more updates.

Public Voting: We will also have a “People’s Choice” award, where the public can vote for their favourite photograph on our website or social media platforms during the voting period.

Help us spread the word about this competition by sharing it with your friends, fellow photographers, and environmental enthusiasts. Let’s use the power of photography to inspire action and make a positive change for our future.

Call For Submissions For The 2023 Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature

Nairobi, Kenya, 23 March 2023… The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has today announced the call for submissions of manuscripts for its 8th edition. The prize, formerly knowns as The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for Africa Literature re-branded its name to reflect the parent organization and main sponsor, the Safal Group Limited, with its member companies Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM) in Kenya and ALAF (ALAF) in Tanzania.  The Safal Group is Africa’s largest supplier of building solutions in 8 countries.

The prize, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University), has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

Over the last seven years, Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has supported Kiswahili authors whose manuscripts have been published with others in the pipeline of being published. In 2021, for its 7th edition, 263 manuscripts were submitted.

The Safal-Cornel Kiswahili Prize emulates Safal Group’s strong support for education and its impact in supporting African literature. In January this year, the winners of the 2022 Awards were unveiled at a special ceremony in Dar es salaam where His Excellency Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania was the guest of honor.

This year, the overall prize will be awarded to unpublished manuscripts across the categories of fiction, poetry, memoir, and graphic novels. As from 2022, previously published books will not be considered. The total proposed awards of 15,000 USD will be divided as follows: The top Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize will be awarded 5,000 USD; top Poetry Prize will be awarded a similar amount of 5,000 USD while the two Runner-up Prizes will be awarded 2,500 USD each in any of the genres written.

The winning entries will be considered for publication in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), who will then work with other regional publishers and book distributors to ensure maximum reach for the winning books. The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in January 2024 with all the shortlisted writers in attendance.

 

Submission Guidelines:

Please send unpublished manuscripts (fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels) to:  kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu. Submissions close on June 30, 2023. For more information, please visit https://kiswahiliprize.cornell.edu our Kiswahili and English bilingual website.

 

Announcement of 2022 winners

Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania… The winners of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2022 were awarded by His Excellency Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania at a special ceremony at the Mlimani City Conference Center in Dar es Salaam, on January 25, 2023.

 

Safal Group, through its subsidiaries Mabati Rolling Mills of Kenya (MRM) and ALAF Tanzania, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University, USA, and the Ngugi WA Thiong’o Foundation sponsor the Prize.

 

The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree and Dr. Mukoma WA Ngugi to recognize writing in African languages and encourage  translation from, between, and into African languages.

 

The 2022 judges; Prof F.E.M.K. Senkoro (chair, Professor Emeritus), Dr. Magdaline Nakhumicha Wafula (Moi University, Kenya), and Dr. Hamisi Babusa (Kenyatta University, Kenya) selected Dotto Daudi Rangimoto’s novel Ujanajike (Womanhood), as the winner in the Fiction category, and Salum Makamba’s poetry collection Mamangu Nipe Wosia (Mother, Counsel me) as the winner in the Poetry category. They both received prize money of US $5,000 Dollars each.

Dotto Rangimoto was born in Morogoro, Tanzania, in 1986. He won the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize in 2017, and Mkuki Na Nyota Publishers, Dar es Salaam, subsequently published his winning manuscript, Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani. Dotto completed his secondary education in 2004 at Morogoro Secondary School. Thereafter he has been involved in small enterprise business and farming. He is a great enthusiast of Kiswahili Literature, especially novels and poetry.

Salum Makamba is a young writer from Tanzania. In addition to novels, he writes short stories, poems, fiction, essays and articles on various social issues. Salum trained as a medical doctor from the University of Dar es Salaam.

In his speech, the Prime Minister His Excellency Kassim Majaliwa congratulated the winners and praised the management of the Prize, its board, and the sponsors, led by Safal Group, for their important work in promoting literature in African languages, particularly Kiswahili.

The CEO of Safal Group, Mr. Andrew Lindgren, also spoke at the ceremony and highlighted the importance of the Kiswahili language in the development of the East African region. “Through our support of these awards, The Safal Group is firmly committed to the course of African languages. I commend ALAF Limited and MRM for organizing the award ceremony each year.”

On behalf of the panel of judges, Prof Senkoro (chair) commended the 2021 entrants for the high quality of their writing, saying that it made it very difficult for the judges to pick out the first- place winners. “This is sufficient evidence that we have a great treasure of creativity, especially among young people, that transcends the boundaries of each country, and which if sprinkled with the basics of writing and publishing literary works will greatly strengthen Kiswahili literature,” added Prof Senkoro.

Mr. Walter Bgoya of the Mkuki and Nyota Publishers, the official publisher of the winning manuscripts, said, “The Safal-Cornell Award has raised talented writers in the field of literature since it was established in 2014, and there is no doubt that it has given writers inspiration andmade the award ceremonies a day of great joy in the lives of those who are lucky enough to win.”

He also emphasized on awakening the spirit of scholars in Tanzania and elsewhere to start promoting the Kiswahili language in science and technology. “There are scholars who are already focused on doing that. What they need is for their work to be recognized and used,” he added.

The second-place winner in the Fiction category was Isaac Ndolo (Kenya) for his manuscript Wimbo wa Hatima (The Final Song), and in the Poetry category was Ally Bakari Mchanyato (Tanzania) for his manuscript Uswahilini. Each received 2,500 USD.

The winning manuscripts are published by Mkuki na Nyota publishers.

As earlier announced, other shortlisted works and authors were Dunia na Watu Wake by Ahmad Simba Mwaita and Mzoga Unaonukia by Lenard Mtesigwa both from Tanzania.

Both the winners and their fellow shortlisted attended the award giving      ceremony in Dar es Salaam.

Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize For African Literature

Friday, January 13, 2023… The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has today announced the 2022 shortlisted manuscripts, that have made it to the finals of the competition.

The Prize is supported by Safal Group, through its member companies Mabati Rolling Mills in  Kenya, and ALAF in Tanzania, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University, and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.

The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi to recognize writing in African languages and encourage translation from, between, and into African languages.

The chairman of this year’s judges panel, Professor F.E.M.K. Senkoro, when giving the decision of the judges, said that the receipt of a very large number of manuscripts of novels and poetry, from various parts of Africa, especially East Africa, is sufficient evidence that we have a great treasure of creativity, especially among young people, that transcends the boundaries of each country, and which if sprinkled with the basics of writing and publishing literary works will greatly strengthen Kiswahili literature.

“Many of the manuscripts that competed for the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature in 2022 were so good that it made the judges’ work very difficult to decide which works should be awarded as first place winners. In fact, almost all the manuscripts reviewed by the judges deserved victory in one way or another, but since there must be a winner in this kind of competition, the judges unanimously decided on the names of the  shortlisted and from which the winners will be announced,” added Professor F.E.M.K. Senkoro during the announcement.

Other judges who joined Professor F.E.M.K. Senkoro in reading and nominating the manuscripts for the 2022 competition were Dr. Magdaline Nakhumicha Wafula of Moi University, and Dr. Hamisi Babusa of Kenyatta University, Kenya.

 

The shortlisted works and authors are:

Dunia na Watu Wake – Ahmad Simba Mwaita (Tanzania), Wimbo wa Hatima – Isaac Ndolo (Kenya) and Ujanajike – Dotto Daudi Rangimoto (Tanzania) in the Fiction Category

Mzoga Unaonukia – Lenard Mtesigwa (Tanzania) Mamangu Nipe Wosia – Salum Makamba (Tanzania) and Uswahilini – Ally Bakari Mchanyato (Tanzania) for the Poetry Category.

 

Isaac Ndolo, is the first Kenyan to make it to the shortlist since 2020. His shortlisted manuscript falls under the Fiction category of the competition.

Overall winners will be announced at the awards ceremony slated for January 25, 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Kiswahili Prize Award Criteria: The prize will be awarded to the best unpublished manuscript the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The total proposed awards of 15,000 US dollars will be divided as follows:

1st Fiction/Non-fiction prize – USD 5,000

1st Poetry prize – USD 5,000

Runner-up Prize any genre– USD 2,500

 

In addition to the prizes, winning entries will also be considered for publication by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers in Tanzania while the winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund.

Partnership with the Uganda’s National Forestry Authority

Planting 40 hectares of indigenous trees across the country

Uganda Baati Limited (UBL), a member of the Safal Group of Companies and Africa’s pioneer manufacturer of building solutions, has signed an MOU with the Government of Uganda’s National Forestry Authority (NFA) to replant 40 hectares of indigenous trees across the country to culminate to 10 hectares per region (Central, East, West and North). In the areas of Bajo Central Forest Reserve – Kayunga District, Namatale Central Forest Reserve

– Sironko district, Lokiragado Central Forest Reserve – Arua and Mubuku Central Forest Reserve – Kasese district.

The launch of this partnership was witnessed today with a tree planting exercise at Bajo Forest Reserve in Kayunga district that will restore the first ten hectares of forest cover. UBL and NFA employees and the local community through local administration participated in the exercise.

Current statistics by NFA show that the country is likely to lose all of its forests in the next 25 years. The repercussions of these actions are clear to see. Besides the landscape almost being completely devoid of trees, the dry season has become longer and filled with more droughts. The loose soil has caused heavy rainfall to turn into deadly floods, while crops are producing less and less yield.

“In the 1900s, the forest cover was 53%, but by 1990, it had reduced to 24%; by 2017, it was at 12% and between 1990 and 2017, Uganda had lost over 2.4 million hectares of forest cover. In 2019, there was a slight recovery in forest cover to 13% and the collaboration between Uganda Baati and NFA under the corporate forest restoration initiative, is a step in the right direction, we thank the leadership of SAFAL group and Uganda Baati for the continued partnership to combat climate change” said Tom Obong Okello, Executive Director-NFA

In addition, UBL also recently collaborated with Uganda Hockey in the score a tree campaign where a tree is planted for each goal scored throughout the season. NFA has identified 5 hectares within Mabira Forest where this partnership shall focus its restoration activities this year.

“As UBL, we deeply care about the people and communities we operate in and live by the values of being a responsible and involved corporate citizen. The Company is guided by four key focus social investment pillars that include: Environment, Shelter, Health and Education. Today’s event falls under the Environment pillar and this initiative will contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically SDG 13 (Climate Change) and SDG 17 (Partnerships),” said George Arodi, Business Head, Uganda Baati Limited

In addition, the Uganda Baati Board Chairman, Dr Alan Shonubi, emphasized the company’s commitment to lead the way in reducing the impact of climate change, “We believe that environmental protection is the only way we can safeguard our future. The situation will get worse if we do nothing. But we can do something about it before it too late”. Dr Alan Shonubi added.

About Uganda Baati

Uganda Baati Limited is a member of the Safal Group which is the largest steel roofing company in Africa. Founded in 1964, Uganda Baati was the first company in the East African region to set up an ultra-modern Continuous Galvanizing line. With branches in Tororo and Arua, and with 10 Showrooms across the country, Uganda Baati is the country’s leading manufacturer and supplier of roofing sheets and allied building products.

Promoting The Kiswahili Language

By Anthony Ng’ang’a, Group Marketing, Communications and External Affairs Officer at Safal Group

I am trying to jumpstart my Kiswahili sanifu after many years of disuse. When I left high school 31 years ago, Kiswahili sanifu and I went our separate ways.  Occasions to engage in proper Kiswahili dropped dramatically since most of the Kiswahili spoken in social settings in Kenya is far from sanifu.

Fast forward to 2019, I joined the Safal Group, Africa’s Largest Building Solutions provider and the main sponsor of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature (formerly The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for Africa Literature).

To celebrate the winning writers, we host an awards ceremony annually where I get to make a short address in my halting Kiswahili. Needless to say, whenever I am called upon to speak, I am filled with anxiety lest my little msamiati (grammar) takes flight while I am on stage.

In my quest to rekindle my Kiswahili, I have started reading Kiswahili books, and no better place to start than from our own crop of winning writers. I picked Mungu Hakopeshwi by Zainab Balwi Baharoon; this book won the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature fiction category in 2018 and was later published in 2019.

Mungu Hakopeshwi, is a story about a certain Bwana Ahmed who prevails over his family and businesses with an iron fist. He is the alpha and omega, and nobody dares breathe without his permission. From the outside, everyone admires his family. From the inside, there is severe strife, and things slowly fall apart in a tragic way.

My interest in this book was sparked after meeting the author earlier this year in Dar es Salaam at the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize 6th edition Award Ceremony.

The book did take a while to read since I was very rusty not having read any extensive Kiswahili literature for over 30 years. To boot, it is written in Tanzanian Kiswahili which is a lot richer. Thankfully, with a kamusi in hand I completed it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kiswahili is one of the most spoken languages in Africa and has also been adopted as one of the official working Languages of the African Union. We should strive to make it the language of conversation amongst all Africans.

At Safal Group, one of our Corporate Social Investment pillars is Education. With the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature initiative, we aim to promote Kiswahili by supporting and nurturing the next generation of African writers of Kiswahili literature.

Over the last six years, the prize has recognized 18 Kiswahili authors for their manuscripts. 264 manuscripts were submitted in the 7th edition this year and the shortlisted manuscripts to be announced later this year.

Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is a steppingstone towards making Kiswahili desirable and fun. We would like to discover the next Jeff Kinney or J. K. Rowling of Kiswahili literature.

 

The 2022 Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature Announced

The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has today announced the call for submissions of manuscripts for its 7th edition. The prize, formerly knowns as The Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for Africa Literature recently rebranded its name to reflect the parent organization and main sponsor, the Safal Group Limited, which is the largest supplier of building solutions in Africa with 36 operations in 8 countries.

The prize, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Short Story Day Africa) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University), has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

“Our objective is to promote the Kiswahili language through our education pillar in supporting African literature, we hope to receive a lot more submissions from Kenyan writers for the 7th edition, as we aim to nurture future writers to excel in this field,” said Mr. Anders Lindgren, CEO SAFAL Group.

Over the last six years, the Mabati-Cornel Kiswahili Prize, now Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature has supported Kiswahili authors whose manuscripts have been published with others in the pipeline of getting published. In 2021, for its 6th edition, 256 manuscripts were submitted with 80 Kenyan writers participating in the Kiswahili Awards competition.

The Safal-Cornel Kiswahili Prize emulates Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM’s) strong support for education and its impact in supporting African literature. In January this year, the winners of the 2021 Awards were unveiled at a special ceremony in Dar es salaam where HE. Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania was the guest of honor.

This year, the overall prize will be awarded to unpublished manuscripts across the categories of fiction, poetry, memoir, and graphic novels. As from 2022, previously published books will not be considered. The total proposed awards of 15,000 US dollars will be divided as follows: The top Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize will scoop a total reward of 5,000 US dollars. The top Poetry Prize will also be rewarded a similar amount of 5,000 US dollars. The two Runner-up Prizes will both be rewarded with 2,500 US dollars in any of the genres written.

The winning entries will be considered for publication in Kiswahili by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers (Tanzania), who will then work with other regional publishers and book distributors to ensure maximum reach for the winning books. The winning poetry will be translated to English and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. An award ceremony will be held in Tanzania with all the shortlisted writers in attendance.

Submission Guidelines:

Please send unpublished manuscripts (fiction, poetry, collections of short stories, and memoir, or graphic novels) to,  kiswahiliprize@cornell.edu. Submissions close on June 30, 2022. For more information, please visit https://kiswahiliprize.cornell.edu our Kiswahili and English bilingual website.

Notes to Editors

The Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is supported by Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM) in Kenya & ALAF in Tanzania (both members of the SAFAL Group), the Office of the Vice Provost of International Affairs at Cornell University, the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University and the Ngugi wa Thiong’o Foundation.

Mabati Rolling Mills Limited (MRM), is a member of Safal Group of Companies and Africa’s pioneer manufacturer of coated steel using some of the most advanced technologies available worldwide.

In Kenya, MRM is the leading manufacturer of building solutions and takes pride in offering top-of the range industry leading building solutions. Their range of products cater for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.  With a great legacy and a history spanning 60 years, MRM’s continued focus on the customer, provision of total building solutions and development of innovative products has resulted in their market leadership in Kenya.

Mkuki na Nyota Publishers is an independent, vibrant Tanzanian imprint publishing relevant, progressive, liberating, affordable and entertaining content.  Established in 1991, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers emerged in response to the general absence of high quality, independent publishing in Tanzania. Its mission statement is to publish, “Relevant Books, Affordable Books, and Beautiful Books.” They have successfully published 2017 poetry winner Dotto Rangimoto’s Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani (December 2018) and Ali Hilal Ali’s novel Mmeza Fupa (January 2019). http://www.mkukinanyota.com