From the many submission received for the 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize, only seven were shortlisted. Public voting ended on 31 May 2023, and Hamisi Wawire’s novel, The Hot Chalice, was voted the most, with 2,055 votes, translating to 49.59% of the votes cast.

Muthoni Maina’s story that weaves together multiple generations of women and their stories in a poignant and thought-provoking way, rich in African history and culture, The Leaves of May, came in second, with 829 votes (20%), and Peeling the Cobwebs by Bonface Nyamweya took the third position with 399 votes (9.63%). View the voting results Here.

The 2023 Prize was open to Kenyan writers only; of the submissions received, 28% were female. Fiction books were the majority (75%) and non-fiction 25%. Despite the submission guidelines specifying eligible works, 12.5% of the submissions were children’s books.

Public voting constitutes 10% of the judging process, with the judging panel determining 90%. Fifty-two countries participated in the voting, the top 20 as shown below:

No. Country Votes
1 Kenya 3761
2 United States 145
3 Tanzania 31
4 United Kingdom 28
5 Namibia 21
6 Uganda 17
7 Saudi Arabia 10
8 United Arab Emirates 9
9 Australia 8
10 Qatar 7
11 Somalia 7
12 France 7
13 South Africa 6
14 Germany 6
15 Netherlands 6
16 Canada 6
17 Nigeria 5
18 Italy 4
19 Switzerland 4
20 South Sudan 3

All seven books were submitted to the judging panel, which will evaluate them based on whether they meet publishing industry standards, the author’s writing style and the theme addressed. The winner, if any, will be announced by the Advisory Board in October 2023 at an award ceremony at Alliance Française de Nairobi.

Thank you, Kenya, and thank you all for voting.