Judges

Ahmad Kipacha completed his doctorate in 2005 specializing in Swahili dialectology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He previously attended undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Swahili and English Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam. He is currently a lecturer of Research Communication with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, and Head of the Department of Governance, Leadership and Humanities within a school of Business Studies and Humanities. He is also a Senior Associate of Swahili Language with MS-TCDC in Arusha, Tanzania.  His current research interest focuses on the Swahili languages, literary criticism and interfaces between Swahili folklore and social enterpreneurship.

 Nathalie Arnold Koenings is a fiction writer, Swahili and English literary translator, and anthropologist. Published under the name N.S. Koenings, her fiction, including the novel The Blue Taxi and the story collection Theft, are set in East Africa, where she grew up. Her stories have also appeared in Story Quarterly, Glimmer Train, and The Enkare Review. Her translations into English of work by Mwenda Mbatiah, Mohammed Said Abdulla, and A. S. Manyanza have appeared in the New Orleans Review, Words Without Borders, and Asymptote. Her translation into Swahili of Tope Folarin’s short story ‘Genesis’ was part of the Swahili translation project of the Caine Prize for African Writing. In anthropology, her work, published in Swahili Forum, Research in African Literatures and elsewhere, is focused on oral history, social memory and geography on Pemba Island, Zanzibar. Nathalie teaches Creative Writing and anthropology at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA.

Rocha Chimerah is a Professor of Kiswahili Linguistics at Pwani University in Kenya. He received his PhD from Ohio University in the USA in 1989, taught in Rwanda for 8 years and has published many papers in refereed journals in East Africa and abroad in the areas of Kiswahili Linguistics, Language and Literature. He has written a number of acclaimed novels and plays. Among his published novels are Nyongo Mkalia Ini and Siri Sirini ( a three-volume sequel). He won the Noma Award in 2000 for his co-authorship of the book Ufundishaji wa Fasihi: Nadharia na Mbinu. His book, Kiswahili: Past, Present and Future Horizon was listed in the 100 Best African Books of the 20th Century Award in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2002.

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