Friday 6 September 2013

Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa Region Winners Reading Challenge

Today, my birthday 6th of September, I have at long last officially made up my mind to join Geosireads and ImageNation in the challenge of reading all the Commonwealth Writers Winners for Africa Region. Although, I have no time limit in achieving this goal.

This Prize is divided into three categories: Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book, Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book,  and Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Nonetheless, I would only be reading books in the first two categories. Please click here to read more about the Commonwealth Writers. Books read are rated and linked to their reviews.

Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book, Africa
2011 – The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone) 3*
2010 - The Double Crown by Marié Hesse (South Africa)
2009 – The Lost Colours of the Chameleon by Mandla Langa (South Africa)
2008 – The Hangman’s Game by Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria)
Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book Overall (2008) The Book of Negroes (Canada) 5*
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) 5*
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) 4*
1993 – Tides by Isidore Okpewho (Nigeria)
1992 - Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana) 5*
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 - Heroes by Festus Iyayi (Nigeria) 4*
  • Incidents at the Shrine by Ben Okri (Nigeria)
  • A Forest of Flowers by Ken Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria) (Runner-up)

Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book, Africa
2011 – Happiness is a Four-Letter Word by Cynthia Jele (South Africa)
2008 – Imagine This by Sade Adeniran (Nigeria) 4*
2007 – All We Have Left Unsaid by Maxine Case (South Africa)
2004 – Gardening at Night by Diane Awerbuck (South Africa)
2002 – Ama by Manu Herbstein (South Africa) 4*
2001 – Thirteen Cents by K Sello Duiker (South Africa)
2000 – The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories by Funso Aiyejina (Nigeria)
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) 3*
1993 – The Price of Liberty by Paul Conton (Sierra Leone)
1991 – Our Wife and Other Stories by Karen King-Aribisala (Nigeria)
1990 – The Gunny Sack by M.G Vassanji (Kenya)
1989 – No Selection Made

** From 2012 to 2013 the award was restructured , it only composed of two Prizes instead of three. First Prize was for best first book and the second Prize was for best short stories.

2013 - Sterile Sky by E.E Sule (Nigerian)
2012 - The Dubious Salvation of Jack V by Jacques Strauss (South Africa)

** As from 2014 Commonwealth Writers will no longer offer the Commonwealth Book Prize.


  1. Happy Birthday and I hope you have a wonderful time reading.

  2. Happy Birthday, Mary. Sorry it's coming late. Am sure you enjoyed yourself.

    1. Ayo, thank you! It is never too late. I appreciate.

  3. Happy Birthday, Mary. Enjoy all you can. Also, I hope you have fun with this challenge. Cheers!

    1. Geosi, Thank a lot. And thank you for the inspiration. I hope to really enjoy my self with this challenge. No rush, though.

  4. A belated happy birthday, Mary. Hope you had a fabulous time. That is an impressive list you have there. Wishing you all the best with the challenge.

  5. Happy birthday.. and welcome to the club. I've not vigorously pursued this but it's a lifelong challenge and now that the awards have ended it makes the list of books finite. LOL.

  6. Thank you Fredua.. I am so happy to join the club. We are actually not in a haste in pursuing this challenge. Yeah.. luckily the list of books are now finite. Though, it is a pity the award has come to an end.

  7. I don't join challenges any more, but I am adding the novels on this list to my shelves at GoodReads because, from the ones I've read, I feel confident that the others will be great too. I have just read (and reviewed) Waiting for an Angel and was very impressed. What a pity this award is no longer made, I really feel that the Commonwealth Writers Prize has taken the wrong tack with its changes, because I have read all these books because I heard about them here in Australia *because of* the prize.

    1. Lisa, I look forward to reading your review of "waiting for an Angel". In my opinion the Commonwealth Writers Prize used to be one of the most prestigious. And in a way united writers from all over the world. Introducing us to different style and type of writers that left to us alone, we would not have known.
      Therefore, it is a pity the Prize is over. Hope they realize that.

  8. Wait! How come I didn't see this earlier? Your birthday is 6th of september and mine is 7th. Next year, we are going to celebrate together. Hugggssss

    1. Sure, why not.. I will keep that in mind next time.


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