Mme. Harriet Anena, becomes the first Ugandan woman to win the 2018 Biennial Literature Award.

Mme. Harriet Anena has been nominated one of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize winner for literature in Africa. Winning from 110 submissions from 11 African nations.  

winner of 2018 literature
Harriet Anena, Wole Soyinka, and Prof.Tanure Ojaide


Mme. Harriet Anena, a Ugandan Woman has won the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize along with a Nigerian called Prof. Tanure Ojaide.

She was selected after a few decision by the jury and organizers of the US$10,000 award yesterday. She has become the first Ugandan to win the prize joining other African winners that have won over the past years.

Her winning work  “A Nation in Labour” has brought her to the top for this year’s best works of literature.

Her work of poetry, “A Nation in Labour” in two which stood for this year, saw her reach the top to win this prize with another Nigerian poet named Prof. Tanure Ojaide on his work Songs of Myself.

Mme. Harriet Anena heard the amazing news yesterday on Sunday, 9th December 2018 and later twitted expressing her joy, that she was “super” happy, “Super happy to be the joint winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, 2018, for my book A Nation in Labour,” her post read.

The prize tributed for Wole Soyinka, who was the first African to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 is worth $10,000 and is awarded to the best literary work(s) produced by an African every two years.

It is the first time that it has been taken by Uganda since its inception in 2005.

Anena came from a long journey for her work to be credited for the best of this year, in November, her work was among 10 other pieces of works for the award where the list was narrowed to 3 with her work among them.

After the list reduced, the jury decided to award the two, Anena from Uganda and Ojiade from Nigeria who were equal in their works to take this year’s prize.

It also became the second time that the award was shared by two winners since 2010, where the prize was shared by a South-African national, Kopana Matlwa for the work “Coconut” and a Nigerian national Wale Okediran for “Tenants of The House”.

Know that Mr. Wole Soyinka who the award is tributed to was also present at the awarding ceremony in Nigeria. 

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