The winners of the Morland Writing Scholarships 2023 have been announced today, Friday, November 17, 2023.
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. In the past, the scholarship has been accorded to writers from across the continent like Yewande Omotoso, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Gloria Mwaniga Odari, Hawa Jande Golakai, Nnamdi Oguike, and Parsalelo ole Kantai. Muhammad L. Kejera (Gambia), Neema Komba (Tanzania), Chido Muchemwa (Zimbabwe), Chika Oduah (Nigeria), and Lanre Otaiku (Nigeria) were the recipients in 2022.
This year the award is judged by Muthoni Garland who is the chair, assisted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Chuma Nwokolo. The panel received nearly 600 entries from published writers from across Africa. They announced a shortlist of nineteen on October 12 before the winners were revealed today. They are;
- Rafeeat Aliyu, Nigeria
- Mubanga Kalimamukwento, Zambia
- Kiprop Kimutai, Kenya
- Remy Ngamije, Rwanda / Namibia
Muthoni Garland, for the judges, said “Rafeeat Aliyu explores the intricate complexities of female land inheritance and Yoruba traditional religion, in historical fiction that is both enlightening and emotionally resonant. Kiprop Kimutai’s story is about twins separated in the 1800s in the highlands of Kenya whose lives cross paths with a British explorer mapping out East Africa for colonialism. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the themes of identity and belonging at the dawn of colonialism. Mubanga Kalimamukwento uses humorous oral storytelling techniques to paint the intimate lives of characters facing unimaginable challenges during the AIDS epidemic in Zambia. Remy Ngamije’s darkly humorous novel is about the son of a dictator accused or raping and killing a famous American singer which results in wide-ranging political and economic ramifications. It is narrated by a salsa-obsessed assassin who works for the dictator.”
Kiprop Kimutai said, “Excited to be a 2023 Miles Morland Scholar, especially for this story ❤️🔥!!”
Mubanga Kalimamukwento said, “It took 4 years, just as many tries, 3 shortlistings to finally say––I am so excited to be a Miles Morland Scholar for my novel. Congratulations to the other 3scholars & everyone who was on the shortlist. Thank you to the Miles Morland Foundation and the judges. 🇿🇲 ku chalo.”
Miles Morland commented, “What a great group of new Scholars. I am confident they will all complete the books they are proposing to write. We have had a lot of brilliant writers in the eleven years we have been doing the Scholarships. This year’s winners rank with the best of them. They are a diverse group with very different but very African themes. One thing I have missed in previous years has been humour, the wit which is such a big part of life in Africa. I’m delighted that this year we will be seeing that. The judges, Muthoni Garland, in the chair, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, and Chuma Nwokolo, were impressed by the overall standard of the short list but felt that on the submissions, these four stood out. I’m delighted to welcome them to the MMF family. They will make us proud.”
The scholars will each receive a grant of £18,000, paid monthly over twelve months.