Press Release | 70-year-old Kenyan writer Engineer Peter Nduati Wins the 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize

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.   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: Davis Njoroge; Beyond (novel, Sci-fi) – 2022 Peter Muchai; The Alternative (novel, crime) – 2022 Bonface Nyamweya; Peeling the Cobweb (novel – 2022 Hamisi Wawire; Hot Chalice (novel) – 2022

Shortlist 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize | Public Voting Open

We are pleased to announce the shortlisted books and authors for the 2023 Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize. The Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize is awarded annually for the best independently published book (fiction, poetry, and non-fiction). The Prize is open to African independent writers resident on the continent and in the diaspora. The Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize is managed by Mystery Publishers, a Kenyan premier pan-African independent publisher with a bias toward African speculative fiction and genre/pop literature stories. The Prize aims to recognise quality self-published books with unique and extraordinary stories addressing current and future Africa (Afro-currency and Afro-futurism) for books at most three (3) years old since publication. The 2023 winner shall receive Ksh 30,000, scholarships to select creative writing courses at Mystery Creative Writing Training Institute and a book distribution offer to all Mystery Publishers distribution channels. The 2023 Prize was only open for Kenyan books/authors, and after thoroughly reviewing the submitted books, public voting is now open for the shortlisted books. Back-fence Talk by Caroline Mbaya Gooka from the Village to the City by Eng. Peter Nduati Beyond by Davis Njoroge The Leaves of May by Muthoni Maina The Hot Chalice by Hamisi Wawire Peeling the Cobwebs by Bonface Nyamweya The Alternative by Peter Muchai Please, vote for the book with the most compelling story that addresses our current and future Africa. Click Here to go to the Voting Board.

Introducing the Afrika Redefined Indie Book Advisory Board

We are pleased to announce the Afrika Redefined Indie Book Prize advisory board. The advisory board shall oversight the Prize judging and award criteria and offer their varied expertise toward running the Prize. We’re honoured to have the wonderful and committed honourable men and women support our cause. John Sibi-Okumu – Kenya John Sibi-Okumu is a lifelong professional career high school teacher of French, a notable broadcaster, and a celebrated actor, journalist, and author. He was quiz master for The Zain Africa Challenge, an inter-university, general knowledge competition originally seen in eight African countries. He was the chief anchor for JSO@7 on Kiss TV, Kenya, a one-hour TV news digest. He has taken on about 40 lead roles on stage and appeared in local and international films, including The Constant Gardener, Shake Hands with the Devil and The First Grader. JSO has written six original plays featured in his Collected Plays, 2004 – 2014 and directed, amongst several other productions, Mo Faya! by Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina, which played to great acclaim at the New York Festival of Musical Theatre in 2009. He has narrated and voiced award-winning documentaries and commercials in English, French, and Kiswahili. In 2017 he read the audiobooks of Peter Kimani’s Dance of the Jakaranda and Henry ole Kulet’s Blossoms of the Savannah. John Sibi-Okumu continues to serve as a moderator, in English, French and Kiswahili, for high-level conferences and is also an engaging public speaker. He was featured in the book Life Journeys, Scaling Heights – Conversations with High Achieving Men in Kenya for his accomplishments.  Dr Gameli Tordzro – Ghana Dr Gameli Tordzro is a muti-arts practitioner, academic, and entrepreneur from Ghana living in Scotland, attempting to share as much as he can of himself with the rest of the world. He is an Educationist, Film and TV Director, Thespian, and Artistic Researcher. He works in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of AdinkraLinks,  a network for poets worldwide interacting through writing, co-creating, sharing and facilitating treasured creative opportunities, and founder composer and director of Ha Orchestra. He makes music, theatre, films, clothes and so on. Many people in Ghana know him as the Grandpa who used to tell folktales on GTV in their childhood. Dr Gameli set up Meli Creative in Scotland, which he uses to support various creatives in Scotland and Africa. He is a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland winner and publishes the AdinkraLinks Anthology series, a fertile platform and springboard for young and undiscovered authors of all sorts. Dr Amakove Wala – Kenya Dr Elizabeth Amakove Wala is a Pan-Africanist Kenyan creative writer, visionary and strategic award-winning Health Systems Strengthening Expert. She is at the forefront of articulating the vision and strategy to shape and advance Public Health impact in Africa and drive Health Systems Strengthening strategies and projects to build community resilience and improve health systems and the health of populations in Africa. She is a transformational leader, effective in building public-private cooperation (with national governments, county governments, donors, ministries, development partners, local/international organisations, and professional associations in Africa) and navigating complex political contexts to strengthen health systems, influence policy formulation, mobilise resources, advocate for innovations in public health to achieve broader and sustainable impact for health and HSS programmes/projects. Dr Wala is also a strategist and communicator with an extensive network of key health sector and private sector partners in Africa, solid understanding and practical experience in health care delivery in Africa, and health management experience spanning 36 African countries. Dr Robert Aron – USA Dr Robert Aron has many years of diverse experience in project and program management, curriculum development,  training, and organisation development. At Motorola University, he provided leadership in global, corporate-wide training initiatives in areas such as technology, leadership, project management, and software engineering. Aron has combined principles of the learning organisation with systematics engineering approaches such as technology road-mapping and incremental, evolutionary development. He has extensively consulted with companies such as Reliance Industries (India), focusing on corporate university development and learning platforms, and needs assessment at Adidas. He has provided leadership in developing the software industry in Egypt, the transfer of management technology to many countries, supported post-tsunami psychological trauma amelioration initiatives in Japan and architected entire degree programs for schools in the United States, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and for Angola University. Dr Aron graduated with BA in East Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Iowa, with a year at the International Christian University in Tokyo. He received his MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, an MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MA in Education and a PhD in Instructional Design and Organization Development from The Ohio State University. He was a J. Harris Ward Fellow at the University of Chicago and has edited and contributed to several science textbooks. Mbizo Chirasha – Zimbabwe Mbizo Chirasha is a dedicated multidisciplinary artist whose impact spans decades. He is an avid reader and poet. Since 2007, he has curated blog content such as the Porcupine-Quill and contributed to the African Writers Caravan. He is the chief editor at Brave Voices Poetry Journal. He has also been a Jury President at Shungunamutitima Film Festival (Livingstone, Zambia). His work has been appreciated globally, spanning Europe, Africa, and the United States of America. In 2020, Mbizo was featured as a UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist (University of Glasgow, School of Education, Scotland) and a guest Writer at the University of Glasgow Creative Writing Programme. Mbizo Chirasha is also the founder of the Writing Ukraine Prize. Damaris Agweyu – Kenya Damaris Agweyu’s passion for storytelling for impact can be traced back to a childhood spent in Europe—one that opened her eyes to the persistently harmful stereotypes about her home continent, Africa. From this experience, she learned the potency of narratives; their ability to either build and edify or malign and destroy. Damaris’ conviction led her to found Qazini, a media platform that consciously and relentlessly champions the voices of Africans. Through Qazini, Damaris strives to share