The Wakini Kuria Award for African Literature (Children’s Literature)

March 30, 2020 0 By The Writers Pen

About The Award

The Wakini Kuria Award for African Literature (Children’s Literature) was established in 2019 to honour the memory and legacy of Wakini Kuria who served on the Advisory board of the African Writers Development Trust and also served as the Chief Editor of Writers Space Africa magazine for almost 2 years.

Wakini was a pillar of support towards the successful hosting of the maiden edition of the African Writers Conference in Abuja, Nigeria in 2018. She also worked tirelessly towards the hosting of the conference in September 2019, in Nairobi Kenya. She died months before the conference but her hard work and passion is still seen in all that we do at AWDT.

Additionally, Wakini was a recipient of the African Writers Award of Merit in 2018 as well as numerous accolades from across Africa. She was struggling with her health but remained resilient in her effort towards developing the African literary space. She has inspired several writers across the African continent with her work and was exceptionally talented, kind-hearted, highly spirited, and joyful.

For this second edition of the Wakini Kuria Award, the recipient will receive a plaque, a certificate, and $100. We are calling for submissions in the Children’s literature genre from April 1 until May 30, 2020 and it is open to all writers of African descent.

Please note that there is no theme for this call. Entries should not exceed 1,200 words and should be sent in MS Word format only to Please include your name, country, a short bio and your social media handles – if any.

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The Judging Panel

The dynamic board of the African Writers Development Trust shall act as the panel of judges for this award. The chief judge is Nahida Esmail who is an award-winning author born and raised in Dar es Salam, Tanzania. Her five young adult novels, Living in the Shade, Lesslie the City Maasai, Detectives of ShanganiLiving in the Shade: Aiming for the Summit  and Karafu: A freed Slave have all received CODE’s Burt Award for African Literature. She has nearly 30 published books including children’s picture books and text books. Nahida’s writing journey began when she went in search of books for her daughter but was disappointed at the lack of books written by and for Tanzanians; and so she decided to write them.

Nahida graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London, with a BSc in Psychology and she completed a Masters in Child Development with Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Nahida currently lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and is a part-time writer and a full-time mother of two girls. She enjoys reading, cycling, mountain climbing, photography, and travelling. She has lived in London, UK; Cairo, Egypt; and Durban, South Africa. Nahida was the keynote speaker at the 2018 African Writers Conference in Abuja, Nigeria and a recipient of the African Writers Award of merit.