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.