27 year old Mombasa author wins sh 1.2 million  in Literature prize

Khadija Abdalla Bajaber the winner of the Graywolf prize on African literature PHOTO COURTESY


27 year old Mombasa poet and author Khadija Abdalla Bajaber flew the Mombasa and the Kenyan flag high after she became the first African author to win the coveted Graywolf literally prize for African literature by independent American publishing house Graywolf press.

Khadija beat nearly 200 submissions   with her manuscript  titled ‘The house of rust’  which is a story of about  girl who goes to the sea to look for her absentee fisherman father but she is haunted by the demons of her past  and she faces a daunting task ahead.

Khadija will receive an advance payment of   shillings 1.2 million and her book is slated for publishing by an Italian publishing house in 2020.

Speaking after being announced the winner, Khadija said she was elated to win such as coveted  prize.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to have had my work in the hands of such genuine lovers of literature and know that they felt a real emotional connection with what I wrote,” Khadija said.

Khadija , a  journalism graduate   is a novel and poet and currently she is working as the Assistant poetry editor  the East Africa issue of the  Panorama travel journals.

Graywolf press  is an American independent publisher that focuses on the discovery of new talented writers in America and internationally.

It is the first time the publishing house called for submissions from African authors in specific.