[The JRB Daily] AfroYoungAdult talent search selection announced—stories from the world’s oldest continent with the youngest population

The Goethe-Institut Sub-Saharan Africa has announced the selection for the AfroYoungAdult project.

The project was launched last year, with the aim of producing more African literature for Young Adult readers.

The selected authors and their short stories are the result of eight workshops that were held in eight African cities during February. The stories were selected by a panel consisting of writers, literary activists and young adult readers from across Africa.

The seventeen selected stories, written in English, French and Kiswahili, will be published in an anthology later this year, and the project’s top three stories will be published in The JRB.

Award-winning South African novelist and co-founder of La Shamba Zukiswa Wanner, who is the project’s coordinator, says: ‘When we conceived the idea and did the call-out for the YA initiative, we expected that we would get ten to twelve good short stories to put in an anthology for our thirteen- to nineteen-year-old readers who are an often ignored demographic in our literature. With the help of the young adults who were part of our judging teams, we were  able to get seventeen brilliant stories, much more than we had bargained for.

‘These stories from the world’s oldest continent with the youngest population range from the fantastical of what another Africa could be like to observations of youth in war situations and the mysteries of deaths to personal questions about family, friendships and sexuality. Despite the wide ranging topics, what all these stories have in common is that they are written in teenage voices—familiar to anyone who has ever been (or is) one. Voices that are at times assertive, sometimes uncertain but always aware of a world around them.’

AfroYoungAdult project selection

  • Asiedu Benneh – ‘Summer School’
  • Chinelo Enemuo – ‘The Hunter’
  • Fatma Shafii – ‘Safarini’
  • Howard Meh-Buh – ‘Oubliette’
  • Justin Clement – ‘Burden’
  • Kelvin Nonvignon Adantchede – ‘Elxa’
  • Kofi Berko – ‘The Sun is White’
  • Lukorito Wafula Jones – ‘Pepo la Zehara’
  • Laurence Gnaro – ‘Naka, La Guerriere Lama’
  • Merdi Mukore – ‘Cornee Noire, Iris Blanc’
  • Precious Colette Kemigisha – ‘Water Birds on The Lake Shore’
  • Priscillar Matara – ‘Last Places’
  • Raoul Djimeli – ‘Premiere fois pour les nulles’
  • Sabah Carrim – ‘Tara’s Hair’
  • Shamin Chibba – ‘The Year of Failure’
  • Tamanda Kanjaye – ‘A Change in Sleeping Arrangements’
  • Yamikani Mlangiza – ‘Forever Hers’


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