Harriet Anena Becomes First Ugandan to Win Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature alongside Prof. Tanure Olajide

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The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature is a biennial pan-African literary honour bestowed on authors of the best literary works. The 2018 edition saw 110 submissions from 11 countries including Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.

The focus of this year’s edition was poetry which saw the prize worth $10,000 jointly clinched by Professor Tanure Ojaide for his work, Songs of Myself and Harriet Anena for her work, A Nation in Labour. Professor Tanure Ojaide is a seasoned Nigerian poet and academic whose Songs of Myself he describes as being derivative of on oral tradition in which a minstrel sings about his faults before facing that of his society.

Harriet Anena’s work, a collection of poems originally published in 2015 is described as “a collection of social conscience poetry that paints a picture of the giant politician, the restless citizen, the clueless youth, those struggling to heal from life’s scratches and the ones hunting for words to describe fiery flames of affection.” Her other feats this year include being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize


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