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Kenya’s Literary Award Winners Revealed

Kenya’s Literary Award Winners Revealed

This year’s Jomo Kenyatta/Wahome Mutahi Kenya’s Literary Award Winners include a retired diplomat, a Catholic priest, and the son of a writer.


The Wayward Vagabond, whose final posting as a diplomat was in Belgium, received the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature for his novel The Wayward Vagabond, while Meru priest Samuel Wachira received the Wahome Mutahi Literary Award for his book Hustlers’ Chains.

Nducu wa Ngugi, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s son, won the English youth category of the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature with his book, Benji’s Big Win.

The Kenya Publishers Association hosted the awards event at the conclusion of the Nairobi International Book Fair.

Prof Kithaka wa Mberia, a Kiswahili scholar, won the Kiswahili Adult Category with his work Kwenzi Gizani. With her book Chadi’s Trip, journalist Sarah Haluwa won first place in the English children’s category. Mbona Hivi was the winner of the Kiswahili young category. Shullam Nzioka wrote the piece.

Fumbo la Watamu was the winner of the Kiswahili children’s category.

During the ceremony, Prof Laban Ayiro, Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University, advised Kenyans to adopt a reading culture if they wanted to be effective leaders.

He emphasized the importance of reading as a requirement for excellent leadership. He also criticized the younger generation and the bulk of leaders in all areas for their bad reading habits.

“We are increasingly becoming a force to reckon with in the area of Publishing in Africa and beyond,” he said. We are already visible on the digital publishing and online selling space … the two literary awards demonstrate that indeed Publishing in Kenya has come of age.”

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