Morland African Writing Scholarship Winners 2023

winners_2023

Morland African Writing Scholarships for 2023

We have four outstanding new Morland Writing Scholars for 2023. We had over 500 entries, all from published authors, from over twenty countries and from the diaspora. Many were new entries, showing the strength of new talent surfacing in Africa, and a number from people who have entered and been short-listed before, including some of our new Scholars.

The 2023 Morland Writing Scholars are:

Rafeeat Aliyu, Nigeria

Mubanga Kalimamukwento, Zambia

Kiprop Kimutai, Kenya

Remy Ngamije, Rwanda / Namibia

The winners each receive a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book. The awards are based on submissions which include a book proposal and an excerpt of published writing.

Miles Morland commented, “What a great group of new Scholars. I am confident they will all complete the books they are proposing to write. We have had a lot of brilliant writers in the eleven years we have been doing the Scholarships. This year’s winners rank with the best of them. They are a diverse group with very different but very African themes. One thing I have missed in previous years has been humour, the wit which is such a big part of life in Africa. I’m delighted that this year we will be seeing that. The judges, Muthoni Garland, in the chair, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, and Chuma Nwokolo, were impressed by the overall standard of the short list but felt that on the submissions, these four stood out. I’m delighted to welcome them to the MMF family. They will make us proud.”

Muthoni Garland, for the judges, said:

Rafeeat Aliyu explores the intricate complexities of female land inheritance and Yoruba traditional religion, in historical fiction that is both enlightening and emotionally resonant. 

Kiprop Kimutai’s story is about twins separated in the 1800s in the highlands of Kenya whose lives cross paths with a British explorer mapping out East Africa for colonialism. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the themes of identity and belonging at the dawn of colonialism.

Mubanga Kalimamukwento uses humorous oral storytelling techniques to paint the intimate lives of characters facing unimaginable challenges during the AIDS epidemic in Zambia.

Remy Ngamije’s darkly humorous novel is about the son of a dictator accused or raping and killing a famous American singer which results in wide-ranging political and economic ramifications. It is narrated by a salsa-obsessed assassin who works for the dictator.

“Assessing the this year’s submissions is both a privilege and a test to choose from a very rich and diverse shortlist.  Yet I am delighted that we have curated four distinct yet captivating narratives from across the continent—Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, and Namibia.” — Bibi

‘Today’s win list will help another cohort of African thinkers and writers to bring a better book faster to the readers. We are happy for them and look forward to seeing these four books that have excited us in the judging process in bookshops someday.

Despite their natural disappointment, we also hope that – by helping them think harder about their future work – the application process has also benefited the other writers who participated in this competition.” — Chuma

“Miles Morland’s generous support for African writers demonstrates his unwavering belief in the power of African literature to enrich the world’s cultural landscape. In many African countries, funding for the arts is limited or non-existent so the Morland scholarships are a lifeline that provide awardees with the resources and recognition to pursue their literary dreams. It has been an honour to serve as a judge and play a role in selecting this year’s exceptional scholars, whose powerful voices and captivating stories have the potential to make a lasting impact on the world.” — Muthoni

The MMF will announce in the New Year the rules and dates for the 2024 Scholarships. Please do not send in any submissions for 2024 until we announce that we are ready to receive them. You can find information relating to the scholarships on our website: www.milesmorlandfoundation.com

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