ASAA announces the 2019 winner of the Inaugural Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award for Excellence in African Writing. The ASAA wishes to congratulate the winner and thank all the publishers and authors for sharing their work with us. We are especially grateful to the committee of judges for their meticulous and dedicated work on our behalf.

As well as selecting a clear winner, Kagiso Lesego Molope, for her book Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, (fiction), Mawenzi House (2018), we also present to you highly commended first and second runner up books (fiction), Youth of God, by Hassan Ghedi Santur (Mawenzi House, 2019), and in third-place, Silence is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia (Indigo Press), 2018. We also commend the publishers Mawenzi House for producing our top two winning books, and Indigo Press for our third book. Additionally, we extend our appreciation to all the publishers who submitted works for the prize.


Source: CBC

Kagiso Lesego Molope is an exciting voice. She was born and educated in South Africa and has been gaining recognition since her first novel, Dancing in the Dust, which received commendation in the IBBY Honour List of 2006. Her second 2002 novel, The Mending Season was selected for the South African School Curriculum. Additionally, This Book Always Betrays my Brother (2009) was awarded the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize by the English Academy of South Africa where it was published. Kagiso lives in Ottawa and knew and worked with Professor Adesanmi, which for the judges came as a pleasant surprise at the end of the judging process.

β€œIt was an exquisite book, sensitively and cleverly crafted, and one that was hard to put down. A highly gifted writer to watch”.

ASAA Book Prize Judge

Pius Adesanmi | Sahara Reporters

Professor Pius Adesanmi, was a Nigerian-born, Canada-based scholar who passed away tragically in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash on 10 March 2019. His passing has been a monumental loss to the global African Studies community. It is in his honour that the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) has established this award.

Join us for the closing ceremony at Safari Park hotel on Saturday (October 27) to celebrate the awarding of the book prize.

Prize plaque was made by Stephen Allotey.Β 

Stephen Allotey was born in Jamestown, Accra. Allotey is a sculptor and a painter which portraiture and figure has been his interest, inspiration and focus and he has continued to study through a strong foundation in drawing. Through the exploration of the language of the human face, he has been able to capture exaggerated facial expressions, subtle gesture and the expression of emotions and attitudes to thus encapsulate and portray varying aspects of the human condition. One admirable feature of Allotey’s work is his deliberate intention to distort and still attain resemblance. His main medium of expression is clay which he models in the presence of keen-eyed audience without any stress or tension whatsoever. Stephen Allotey is inspired by nature and the heroic in mankind and animals which he is moved to express the vitality, beauty, grace and strength of their portraits in their varied shapes, sizes, abilities and functions.

Contacts: @allosculptStudio on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook