Ugandan wins Commonwealth story award

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By Christine W. Wanjala

Posted  Thursday, May 15   2014 at  20:11

A Ugandan woman has won the Commonwealth writers’ prize for this year. She was one of the five women regional winners who were named on Wednesday.
Ms Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi beat competition from South Africa’s Michelle Sacks and Nigerian Adelehin Ijasan who had made it to the top 16 shortlist released on April 30 to emerge Africa’s best in the contest.

A short biography on the Commonwealth writer’s website indicates Ms Makumbi is a lecturer of creative writing at Lancaster University.
She is a PHD holder in creative writing from Lancaster University and also holds a Masters Degree in creative writing from Manchester Metropolitan University.

This is not her first foray into the literary world as her doctoral project, the novel The Saga of Kintu won the Kwani Trust manuscript Award last year and is expected to be published later this year.
She has also had a short story and at least poems published on online literary forums.

Her webpage says Ms Makumbi was born and raised in Kampala and attended Trinity College Nabbingo and Kings College Budo for her secondary education.

She graduated with Bachelor’s in Education from Islamic University in Uganda and taught English at Nakasero High School and Hillside High for over a decade before leaving for the UK in 2001.

The Commonwealth short story prize is a literary contest under the Commonwealth writers’ prize. It is the second year running and is open to short story writers from all over the Commonwealth. This year the contest saw 4000 entries.

Ms Makumbi’ s story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly, tells the story of a woman who returns to Uganda from a sojourn in Europe accompanying her husband’s dead body and the struggle that her life becomes.

Ms Doreen Baingana who won the Commonwealth writer prize in 2006 and is a judge in this year’s contest said she had seen in Makumbi’s story originality and freshness.

Full interview in Saturday Monitor

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