The winners of the Morland Writing Scholarships 2022 were announced on Thursday, November 24, 2022.
The Morland Writing Scholarships for African Writers, popularly referred to as the Morland Writing Scholarship, is an opportunity to allow writers to finish a manuscript. Scholars writing fiction receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over twelve months while those writing non-fiction may receive a grant of up to £27,000, paid over a period of up to eighteen months. In the past, the scholarship has been accorded to writers like Yewande Omotoso, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Gloria Mwaniga Odari, Hawa Jande Golakai, Nnamdi Oguike, and Parsalelo ole Kantai.
This year the award is judged by Muthoni Garland who is the chair, assisted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Chuma Nwokolo. From the over 500 applications from across the continent, the panel announced the shortlist for the prize on October 18. The judging panel met in London on November 23 and came up with the winners list who were announced on Thursday. They are;
- Muhammad L. Kejera (Gambia)
- Neema Komba (Tanzania)
- Chido Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)
- Chika Oduah (Nigeria)
- Lanre Otaiku (Nigeria)
Muthoni Garland said, “In the only non-fiction offering, Chika Oduah intends to witness the brutality of Boko Haram through first-hand accounts of five women directly involved in the conflict. Lanre Otaiku will explore the complicated impact of sexual abuse on two young Nigerian boys by an older woman. Chido Muchemwa uses humour to explore a painfully broken society in which a woman with singing talent becomes a morale booster for the guerrillas during the Second Chimurenga, and skirts with death when she assists a deserter. Muhammed Kejera will mine the archives of Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission to enrich his telling of a people brutalised, scattered, but also infected by the foolishness of the dictator. Through the perspective of women who played key roles, Neema Komba will bring to life the early-1900s Maji Maji rebellion against German colonialism in Tanzania.”
Miles Morland commented: As the sponsor of the Scholarships, I sometimes lament the fact that the qualities I appreciate so much in my African friends such as wit, humour, and positive thinking are so lacking in African writing. But then, as Muthoni Garland, the Chair of our judges commented on this year’s five Scholars, “These are brave and thoughtful writers tackling difficult stories that deserve to be heard.” Yes, we do have one new Scholar who, I hope, will use black humour to illustrate a complicated subject but, as in previous years, it is the dangerous and difficult stories that our new Scholars will be telling. I know those stories will make compelling reading.