2013 Golden Baobab Prizes Shortlist Announced

by - 10:34

Happy to announce that the 2013 Golden Baobab Shortlist has been ... announced. The judges - Bernardine Evaristo, Esi-Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa - must have had a tough time turning the 25-strong longlist to the 8 shortlisted stories. The shortlisted authors come from five different countries (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) and include thirteen year old Kanengo Rebecca Diallo from Tanzania story Pieces of Africa for the Rising Writers Prize. The winners will be announced November 13th. Congratulations to all shortlisted authors. 

Past Picture Book (for ages 8-11) Prize winners include Lauri Kubuitsile in 2009 with Lorato and her Wire Car and Edyth Bulbring in 2011 with Sour Worms, while in the Early Chapter Book category (for ages 12-15) Ivor Hartmann won in 2009 with his story Mr Goop. All past winners can be found here.

Here's the press release via Golden Baobab. Also check out this article by Deborah Ahenkora, co-founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab on Huffington Post asking 'Where Are the Stories for African Children?'.

Golden Baobab Prizes Shortlist 2013
Accra,Ghana, November 1, 2013: 180 stories were submitted to this year’s Golden Baobab Prizes. Of these, 25 made it onto the longlist and 8 to the shortlist. The 8 shortlisted stories are:
The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books
The Princess with a Golden Voice - Phillip Begho (Nigeria)
The Little Hippo - Liza Esterhuyse (South Africa)
Grandma Mimo's Breakfast - Carol Gachiengo (Kenya)

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books
Seven – Sabina Mutangadura (Zimbabwe)
Rhino – Richard Street (South Africa)
What’s going on at 179 Jabulani Street? – Karen Hurt (South Africa)

The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
The Little Secret – Fego Martins Ahia (Nigeria)
Pieces of Africa – Kanengo Rebecca Diallo (Tanzania)

Chair of judges for the Picture Book Prize, Zetta Elliott, whose first picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee and Low Books’ New Voices Contest, commented on the shortlist saying, "I'm very impressed with the range and originality of the stories. This year's shortlist suggests that there are plenty of emerging authors who take seriously the task of nourishing the imagination of African children. These stories have magic, mystery, and important lessons about the value of community. They confirm what we already know: Africa's literary landscape is rich and diverse!"

The Golden Baobab Prizes, now in its fifth year, were set up to find the very best writers of African children’s literature. This year’s shortlist suggests that the judges; Bernardine Evaristo, Esi-Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa, all have varying ideas about what constitutes good fiction for children. This has ensured a very diverse 2013 shortlist.

Osayimwense Osa, founding author of the Journal of African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL), is a firm believer in the power of literature. He says, “It transform the world from confusion and violence to peace is immense and so it is wise to get children reading in their formative years. They must have access to literature which is in touch with social functions, individual lives, and world realities and some of the stories in the shortlist do just that.”

The shortlist comes out after over 8 weeks of the rigorous Golden Baobab Prizes evaluation process. It is evident that African writers are passionate about creating beautiful stories to ignite the imaginations of African children everywhere. The winners of the 2013 prizes will be announced on 13 November.

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