The Mbati Cornell KiSwahili prize for african literature

The Mbati Cornell KiSwahili prize for african literature

meetingPenye nia Pana njia is a famous Swahili saying that translates as “where there is a will, there is a way”.

This saying aptly captures Safal Group’s commitment to the growth of Kiswahili as the most widely spoken language in Africa.

The Safal Group supports the development of Africa’s most widely spoken language, recognising that development of African languages is connected to prosperity; additionally, strong local languages facilitate social integration and are a powerful medium of change.The Award was founded in 2014 with the express goal of recognizing writing in Kiswahili, with the wider objective of recognizing African-language literary achievements, and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

The Prize is supported by the Safal Group companies of Mabati Rolling Mills in Kenya and ALAF Limited in Tanzania, together with the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Cornell University and the Africana Studies Center at Cornell University.Now in its third year, the Mabati – Cornell Kiswahili Prize for Literature has grown from a handful of entries to over 100 entries in the 2018 edition, making it one of the biggest Literature events in Africa.

2017 Winners:

The 2017 Winners of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature were announced on 15 January 2018 by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Abdilatif Abdalla.

  • Poetry: Dotto Rangimoto (Tanzania) - Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani ($5,000)
  • Fiction: Ali Hilal Ali (Tanzania) - Mmeza Fupa ($5,000)

Selected from 30 entries, the manuscripts were read by 3 judges: Ken Walibora Waliaula, the Judge Chairman, scholar and writer, Daulat Abdalla Said, Assistant Lecturer at the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), and Ali Attas, Kiswahili and English teacher at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.

The Prize was awarded in Nairobi on 13 February, 2018 at the Kenya Cultural Centre (The National Theatre).