Caine Prize For African Writing

This year marks the 20th anniversary for Africa’s most prestigious English-language literary award, the Caine Prize for African Writing. Conceived in 2000 by family and friends of the late Sir Michael Caine, founder of the Booker Prize for Fiction, the organisation is a force to be reckoned with, overseen by a line-up of powerhouses, including Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri OBE, John Coetzee, and founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE.  

The Caine Prize for African Writing provides a platform for some of Africa’s greatest literary artists, bringing their genres to a wider audience and propelling emerging talents into the mainstream. It also offers a series of public events and a writers’ workshop which takes place annually in a different African country.

We enjoy paying attention to new writers from the continent and we try and ensure our travellers are presented with contemporary reading lists reflective of today’s talents. Sure, we are forever in awe of literary giants such as Chinua Achebe and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, but few travellers have insight into the current generation of great writers, both from within and throughout the diaspora. Not only is storytelling historically representative of creative expression and a gatekeeper of legend, culture and tradition, but it is also an excellent starting point for understanding exactly where you are in the world. We urge all travellers to read about Africa from an African perspective and engage more meaningfully with what’s happening on the continent in the here and now.

With this in mind, the 2019 shortlist for the Caine Prize for African Writing is as follows:

Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria), “Skinned”


Meron Hadero (Ethiopia), “The Wall”


Cherrie Kandie (Kenya), “Sew My Mouth”


Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti (Cameroon), “It Takes A Village Some Say”


Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor (Nigeria), “All Our Lives”


We wish all competitors the very best of luck and look forward to Monday’s winning announcement.