The Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize is delighted to announce that the 2023 winner is 70-year-old Engineer Peter Nduati, for his semi-biographical and social commentary book, Gooka from the Village to the City, published in 2022.

Winner 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize Engineer Peter Nduati with the Chief Guest Mrs Margaret Lesuuda, Director of Education, Ministry of Education


The 2023 prize was open to Kenyan authors only, and seven (female – 2 [28.57%], male – 5 [71.43%]) submitted eight books (fiction – 6, non-fiction – 1, children’s – 1), but seven were shortlisted.

Chaired by Lexa Lubanga, founder of Kenyan Readathon and ardent supporter of Kenyan writers/literature, the Judging Panel recommended to the Advisory Board Engineer Peter Nduati as the 2023 winner of the Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize, who was approved and announced during the Prize award ceremony held at the multimedia library of the Alliance Française de Nairobi.

Regarding the judging criteria, Lexa said: “Different books scored differently. Some would be strong in writing style but fail in professionalism and theme; others were strong in professionalism but failed in theme; while others were good in theme but failed in writing style and professionalism. As a general rule, the winning book MUST score more than 90 per cent (Judge’s Score) on professional rating; if none, no winner shall be announced, and the prize shall not be awarded. For a book to address Afro-currency/Afrofuturism well, it MUST score over 80 per cent. The Runners-up MUST score over 80 per cent and less than 90 per cent, i.e. be within the 80 to 89.99 percentile (Judge’s Score in professionalism).”

The evaluation criteria entailed public voting (introducing the works to the public and allowing the readers to vote for the book with the most compelling story), which is 10% of the overall rating, and evaluation by a judging panel, which is 90% of the overall rating. The winning book is the first non-fiction book moulded in historical, scientific, and mathematical satire. The judges said it was the best professionally (self-)published, scoring 91.34 per cent on professionalism and 88 per cent on addressing the theme of Afro-currency and Afrofuturism.

Engineer Peter Nduati joins the previous winner, Jerusha Kananu Marete, as the pioneers of this noble prize envisioned to be the premiere prestigious book prize for African independent writers.

The judging panel comprised reader and passionate supporter of African literature, Lexa Lubanga (Kenya) as the chairperson; Dr Michael Dickel (Israel) as the vice-chairperson; and members writer and columnist Empress Ciku Kimani-Mwaniki (Kenya), writer Lesalon Kasaine (Kenya), avid Xavier Omweri (Kenya), and Ugandan journalist and writer, Philip Matogo.

The Prize secretariat is guided by an advisory board comprising multi-artist expert Dr Gameli Tordzro (Ghana); veteran Kenyan journalist and broadcaster John Sibi-Okumu (Kenya); Dr Amakove Wala (Kenya); activist Mbizo Chirasha (Zimbabwe); media practitioner and founder Qazini, Damaris Agweyu; and literature enthusiast Dr Robert Aron (USA).

Engineer Peter Nduati received a cash prize of Ksh.30,000, an increase from 2022 when the winner received Ksh.20,000. His winning book captures his daily experiences mirrored in his village days toggled and enmeshed with the past, making the narrative both semi-biographical and a social commentary.

The Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize aims to recognise quality, professionally self-published books that address AfroCurrency or Afrofuturism themes, help improve reading culture in Africa, and create opportunities for authors.

The first runner-up was The Leaves of May (novel) by Muthoni Maina, and the second runner-up was Back-Fence Talk and Other Stories (short stories) by Caroline Kinya Mbaya. They were both presented with a certificate. Other shortlisted authors were: