Ugandan wins Commonwealth literary prize

Kampala. A Ugandan rose above the odds to take this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Ms Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan novelist, poet and short story writer based in the United Kingdom, awed the Judges with her short story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly which not only gave her an edge to becoming the regional winner for Africa, but also outdid her other four competing regional contenders from Asia, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Her winning comes with a bounty of £ 5,000 (about Shs21 million). The winning story revolves around a widow, who returns from Manchester to Uganda the body of her late husband and her two orphans to a family she never met, one claiming to be his bonafide family, and more dauntingly, his formally recognised widow.

It is this script that caught, after rigorous debate, the approval of the seven judges. “The winning stories from each region boasted craft, intelligence and ambition.

Choosing the overall winner felt like an impossible taskJennifer Makumbi’s Let’s Tell This Story Properlysignificantly expanded our understanding of the possibilities of the short story form,” said Mr Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, chair of the judging panel.

Ms Makumbi lives in Manchester and holds a PHD in Creative Writing from the University of Lancaster where she teaches the same.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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