Kenyan writer Makena Onjerika has won the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing – often described as Africa’s leading literary award, for her short story entitled “Fanta Blackcurrant”, published in Wasafiri (2017). The Chair of the Caine Prize judging panel, award winning Ethiopia-American novelist and writer, Dinaw Mengestu, announced Makena as the winner of the £10,000 prize at an award dinner this evening (Monday 2 July). The ceremony was held for the second time in Senate House, in partnership with SOAS and the Centre for African Studies.
Dele Meiji Fatunla has been announced as the new Administrator of the Caine Prize for African Writing. He will take up the role on 1 June 2018.
Formerly Head of Communications at the Royal African Society, Dele will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Caine Prize, liaising with trustees, writers and key partners in Africa, the UK and the US. Working with publishers, schools, and literary and cultural organisations in Africa and around the world, Dele will play an important role in the efforts of the Caine Prize to promote contemporary African literature and African writers, and to develop emerging literary talent on the continent.
The shortlist for the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing has been announced, showcasing a diversity of themes and a wealth of literary talent. The five-writer shortlist was unveiled by this year’s Chair of judges, award-winning Ethiopian-American author, Dinaw Mengestu.
Dinaw Mengestu, former Lannan Foundation Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University, said: “The best short stories have a subtle, almost magical quality to them. They can contain through the rigour of their imagination and the care of their prose more than just a glimpse into the complicated emotional, political, and social fabric of their characters’ lives.