Afrika Redefined Indie Book Advisory Board invites persons drawn from the academia, publishing industry (editors & publishers), writers, and book lovers (beta readers & reviewers) to judge the Prize. 

The 2023 prize submissions close on 15 April 2023.

Submissions are ongoing for the 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize. We would like to thank everyone who submitted a short story. The 2023 judging panel is below.

2023 Judges

Dr JKS Makokha

Lecturer, Poet & Columnist

Kenya | Panel Chairperson 

Dr Justus Kizito Siboe Makokha teaches Literature and Theatre at Kenyatta University. His areas of interest are: Literary Criticism, Gender Studies and Translation Studies. He is a published poet and the resident book reviewer at The Star newspaper.

Dr Michael Dickel

Writer, Editor, Artist

Israel | Member

A writer, publication editor, and artist, Michael Dickel has poetry and fiction widely published in print & online. He edits The BeZine online quarterly. His poetry has won international awards and has been translated into several languages. His most recent poetry collection, Nothing Remembers, came out from Finishing Line Press in September 2019 and received a Feathered Quill Book Award for Poetry. He has a chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism (Locofo Chaps, 2017) and a flash fiction collection, The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden (Is a Rose Press, 2016), among other books.

With Israeli producer/director David Fisher, he received a US NEH grant and wrote a film script about Yiddish theatre. He taught in Israel at David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University; and in the US at Macalester College, the University of Minnesota, and Metropolitan State University, MN.

Empress Ciku Kimani-Mwaniki

Writer, Editor & Host

Kenya | Member

Empress Ciku Kimani-Mwaniki is a fiction (romance) writer, ghostwriter, newspaper columnist, magazine editor, and mountaineer. She also hosts a YouTube program for writers, Author’s Feet.

Lucas Wafula

Editor & Publisher

Kenya | Member

Lucas Wafula is the editor-in-chief and publisher/CEO of Booklyst Press Limited. He is also Director and Lead Facilitator at Global Editorial Centre-KE. Lucas has been a publisher/editor for nearly 20 years, during which he has worked with award-winning authors, authors of note, and young writers.

He has worked in and on projects for Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and South Sudan. Lucas is passionate about growing African literature and helping budding writers sharpen their writing craft.

Philip Matogo

Writer, Editor & Host

Uganda | Member

Philip Matogo is a political writer, columnist at Uganda’s Nation Media Group’s Daily Monitor, poet, book reviewer, and former editor at Pulse Uganda.

Xavier Omweri

Reader, Book Reviewer & Literary Critic

Kenya | Member

Xavier is a book reviewer and literary critic interested in African Literature and its propagation. She is also actively involved in the Kenyan book space, having participated in reading challenges that promote and put to light contemporary and forthcoming Kenyan authors.

Lexa Lubanga

Reader & Founder Kenyan Readathon

Kenya | Member

Lexa Lubanga is an African literature enthusiast. Lexa found immense success showcasing Kenya’s literary scene while instigating conversations on reading culture in Kenya through The Kenyan Readathon, an annual reading marathon in September aimed at promoting Kenyan literary works. Lexa is passionate about promoting and highlighting the works of aspiring and up-and-coming authors.

Brian Lesalon Kasaine


Kenya | Member

Brian Lesalon Kasaine (LK) is a storyteller based in Nairobi. His love for reading and writing was conceived and midwifed at twelve years at the now defunct Maasai Education Discovery, Narok town. Kasaine later developed a passion for transformative journalism and poetry while in High School. In 2017, he self-published his first book, Around The Campfire, a poetry collection, and then later in 2020 released 3 Bolts From the Blue, a crime thriller short story collection set in Nairobi. Kasaine has also authored the memoirs Through the Eyes of a Pastor’s Wife (2021) and I Press On (working title), a Qazini project releasing in March 2023.

He founded Let’s Tell It, an outfit seeking to build and improve humanity through storytelling in different formats. He is the content manager at Qazini, an online media platform that powers the African narrative, and a contributing author at Oklahoma’s online paper, NonDoc Media. He was recently selected to participate in a screenwriting lab facilitated by film writer Oprah Oyugi at the Kitale Film Week.

Kasaine holds a degree in Co-operative Business (HR Management) from The Co-operative University of Kenya and has also studied Feature Writing (online) with the University of Kent.