Girl, 10, wins literary award

Ms Bonita Treasure Murungi poses with her Best Fiction Writer’s Award that she won at the National Library of Uganda on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

Phenomenal. The young author beat six adults to win the award

Kampala.

Ten-year-old Bonita Murungi is the first winner of the National Library of Uganda Author Awards. The Primary Five pupil of Agha Khan Primary School in Kampala beat six authors, who also read out samples of their fictional books and poems.

Writers handed in their material and a selection by the National Library was done to come up with six finest fiction writers.

Murungi, who is currently writing her third book, impressed the guests as she read out her first book Friends, which was published in September 2014.

The book is about two girls –a princess and a commoner. Soon they find out that they are sisters. In the end, they end up getting married to Jack and Bob, who are also brothers.

“I didn’t expect to win this because I was given little time to read out a few chapters of my book. I dedicate this award to my father. He has guided and helped me publish my book and is ready to help me publish others,” the articulate Murungi said.

Ms Stella Nekuusa, the principal librarian at the National Library of Uganda, says the author awards aim at promoting the budding indigenous authors. “When we look at the books deposited here [National Library],” Nekuusa said: “We realise that we have very inspirational writers so this is an encouragement for them.”

The authors were judged by more than 30 guests, who awarded contestants according to the idea or what the storyline is about, grammar, hidden truth, presentation and affordability of the books.

Why fiction?
“Fiction is an area we are weak in. We, Ugandans have to start being imaginative. Also, it is away of promoting our reading culture. We shall look at another field of writing next year,” Nekuusa says.

Selected authors
• Dembe Andrew, a student at Uganda Martyrs SS Namugongo,
• Gerald Malinga, a self-publisher,
• Hilda Twongyeirwe from Femrite,
• Dr Frances Nakiwala, a lecturer at the School of Literature, Kyambogo University,
• Bonita Murungi
• Prof Timothy Wangusa.

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