Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa Region Winners Reading Challenge

Geosireads has set himself the challenge of reading all the Commonwealth Writers Winners for Africa Region. As one who promotes African Literature, I believe I should participate in this challenge. I am, however, not setting myself any time limit for this challenge. I would as and when I get the books.

The awards are in two categories: Best Book and Best First Book. From 1987 to 1988 there was no Best First Book, rather a runner up was chosen for the Best Book category. This changed from 1989, though in that year no selection was made under the Best First Book category.

Titles in italics are those read and reviewed, in which case they have been linked to their respective reviews.

Best Book
2010 –  The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone) 
2009 – The Lost Colours of the Chameleon by Mandla Langa (South Africa)
2008 – The Hangman’s Game by Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria)
2007 – The Native Commissioner by Shaun Johnson (South Africa)
2006 – The Sun by Night by Benjamin Kwakye (Ghana)
2005 – Boy by Lindsey Collen (South Africa)
2004 – The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut (South Africa)
2003 – The Other Side of Silence by Andre Brink (South Africa)
2002 – The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)
2001 – The Heart of Redness by Zakes Mda (Soutth Africa)
2000 – Disgrace by J.M Coetzee (South Africa)
1999 – If You Can Walk, You Can Dance by Marion Molteno (South Africa)
1998 – Walking Still by Charles Mungoshi (Zimbabwe)
1997 – Under the Tongue by Yvonne Vera (Zimbabwe)
1996 – No Selection Made
1995 – The Master of Petersburg by J.M Coetzee (South Africa)
1994 – The Rape of Sita by Lindsey Collen (Mauritius)
1993 – Tides by Isidore Okpewho (Nigeria)
1992 - Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana)
1991 – The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar by Syl Cheney-Coker (Sierra Leone)
1990 – Harvest of Thorns by Shimmer Chinodya (Zimbabwe)
1989  Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
1988 – 1. Heroes by Festus Iyayi (Nigeria)
            2. The Setting Sun and the Rolling World, Charles Mungoshi, (Zimbabwe) (Runner-up)

1987 – 1. Incidents at the Shrine by Ben Okri (Nigeria); 
2. A Forest of Flowers by Ken Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria) (Runner-up)

Best First Book
2010 – Happiness is a Four-Letter Word by Cynthia Jele (South Africa)
2009 – Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan (Nigeria)
2008 – Imagine This by Sade Adeniran (Nigeria)
2007 – All We Have Left Unsaid by Maxine Case (South Africa)
2006  Tropical Fish: Stories Out of Entebbe by Doreen Baingana (Uganda)
2005 – Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
2004 – Gardening at Night by Diane Awerbuck (South Africa)
2003 – Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila (Nigeria)
2002 – Ama by Manu Herbstein (South Africa)
2001 – Thirteen Cents by K Sello Duiker (South Africa)
2000 – The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories by Funso Aiyejina (Nigeria)
1999 – The Clothes of Nakedness by Benjamin Kwakye (Ghana)
1998 – Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter by Pamela Jooste (South Africa)
1997 – At the Edge and Other Cato Manor Stories by Ronnie Govender (South Africa)
1996 – Winds of Change by Dene Coetzee (South Africa)
1995 – The River and the Source by Margaret A. Ogola (Kenya)
1994 – Cry a Whisper by Lucy Safo (Ghana)
1993 – The Price of Liberty by Paul Conton (Sierra Leone)
1992 - Grief Child by Lawrence Darmani (Ghana)
1991 – Our Wife and Other Stories by Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria)
1990 – The Gunny Sack by M.G Vassanji (Kenya)
1989 – No Selection Made


  1. Yeah! I am happy to have a partner. And by the way, you are already doing well as I see you've read some. However, with the difficulty to access of books here, it is good that you did not set for yourself any time limit. Cheers!

  2. @Geosi, let's get it going. I read these not knowing they have won any award.

  3. This is one strong challenge! What may be more difficult is acquiring all the books.

  4. I will certainly join in with you both on this! I've loved the few I've read from the lists so certainly want to read more.

  5. @Myne... Yes, that's why I have not constrained it with time. It is open.

  6. @Amy Let's go... I know you have more on the list.


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