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Kenyan wins 2022 AKO Caine Prize

A Kenyan writer Idza Luhumyo has been awarded the 2022 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story ‘Five Years Next Sunday’, published in…

A Kenyan writer Idza Luhumyo has been awarded the 2022 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story ‘Five Years Next Sunday’, published in Disruption (2021). 

A Nigerian writer, Joshua Chizoma’s short story ‘Collector of Memories,’ was among the works of five writers shortlisted for the prize. 

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Each shortlisted writer receives £500 and will also be published in the 2022 AKO Caine Prize anthology.

The Chair of the AKO Caine Prize Judging Panel, author and award-winning journalist Okey Ndibe, announced the winner of the £10,000 prize, describing the winning piece, ‘Five Years Next Sunday’ as an incandescent story. 

“Its exquisite language wedded to the deeply moving drama of a protagonist whose mystical office invites animus at every turn. It’s that rare story that stays imprinted in the reader’s mind long after the encounter with it. A triumph of the imagination!” he said. 

The 2022 winning work, ‘Five Years Next Sunday’, which won the 2021 Short Story Day Africa Prize, is a story about a young woman with the unique power to call the rain in her hair. Feared by her family and community, a chance encounter with a foreigner changes her fortunes, but there are duplicitous designs upon her most prized and vulnerable possession.

Judging the Prize alongside Ndibe this year were French-Guinean author and academic Elisa Diallo; South African literary curator and co-founder of The Cheeky Natives Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane; UK-based Nigerian visual artist Ade ‘Àsìkò’ Okelarin; and Kenyan co-founder and managing trustee at Book Bunk Angela Wachuka.

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