Golden Baobab Dedicates $20,000 to African Children's Literature

Accra, February 24th, 2014 – Golden Baobab has launched the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for African children’s literature and illustrations. In this 6th year of the prize, the Ghana based literary social enterprise Golden Baobab and its supporters will be awarding 6 distinct prizes worth $20,000. These 6 prizes are:

  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book
  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book
  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators
  • The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators
  • The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award

 Marking the 6th anniversary of the Golden Baobab Prizes, its coordinator, Nanama B. Acheampong states, “we are excited this year to be presenting 6 prizes. For 5 years we have successfully run 3 prizes for literature. As we enter our 6th year, we are thrilled to be able to transfer the expertise we have gained to illustration in Africa and to recognizing lifetime contributors to African children’s literature. The new prizes we are launching this year are: the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators and the Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award.”

 2014 Golden Baobab Prize winners will receive cash prizes worth $20,000, opportunities to be published, invitations to the Golden Baobab Award ceremony, mentorship, press opportunities and participation in exhibitions.

 Commenting on the launch of the 2014 Prizes, Deborah Ahenkorah, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab said, “I’m thrilled that as we mark the 6th anniversary of the prizes, we are doing more than we ever have to champion the work of African writers and illustrators of children’s stories. For example, we have increased cash prizes from an annual $3000 to an annual $20,000. This increase reflects the value we place on the work created by incredibly talented writers and illustrators of African children’s stories. This is only the beginning of our aspirations for this space.”

2014 will see Golden Baobab launch an active search for corporate and foundation partnerships to continue to do more for African children’s literature. For information about the Golden Baobab prizes, visit Golden Baobab’s website. The Golden Baobab Prizes are supported by the African Library Project.

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About the Golden Baobab Prizes

The Golden Baobab Prizes for literature were established in July 2008 to inspire the creation of enthralling African children’s stories by African writers. The Prizes invite entries of unpublished stories written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin. The prizes have expanded to include The Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations to discover, nurture and celebrate African illustrators of children’s stories and The Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature Award to honour deserving writers and illustrators who have contributed immensely to African children’s literature. The Prizes are organized by Golden Baobab, a Ghana-based pan African social enterprise dedicated to supporting African writers and illustrators to create winning African children’s books.  The organization’s Advisory Board includes renowned authors Ama Ata Aidoo and Maya Ajmera. Golden Baobab is proudly supported by The African Library Project.

For further information, photos or to arrange interviews, please contact: Nanama B. Acheampong via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +233302 963639

Website: www.goldenbaobab.org

Golden Baobab Launches the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations

Accra, Ghana, November 28, 2013: Golden Baobab has announced the launch of its new prizes, the $7,500 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations, under which there are two awards: The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators and The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators. These new illustration prizes are the biggest annual pan-African awards for African illustrators.

At the launch which was held at La Villa Boutique Hotel in Accra, Deborah Ahenkorah, co-founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab, shared her reasons for launching the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations. She said “Golden Baobab started out as a very small organization which sought to encourage African writers to create stories for African children. We have now been running our literature prizes for five years and in this time we have received over a thousand stories. At a point we realized that we needed to encourage African illustrators as well as writers because illustrations are just as important as text in a children’s storybook. It is for this reason that Golden Baobab is launching these new illustration prizes today. We want to discover, motivate and celebrate African illustrators who are dedicated to creating beautiful illustrations for children.”

Mr. Asare Yamoah, President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA), who was present at the event to help launch the prizes, congratulated Golden Baobab for its work to date and for its new initiative. During his speech he spoke about the importance of developing a love for reading at a young age and that this could be made simpler if children had lots of interesting books with colourful illustrations. Mr. Yamoah went on to say, “When we go to international book fairs, everyone clamours for our adult African literature but when it comes to children’s books, we have realized that we cannot compete with publishers from Europe, India or America. I am happy to be here to support the launch of these new Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations, which will undoubtedly help to change the face of Ghanaian and African children’s literature.”

After his speech, Mr. Yamoah, together with Deborah Ahenkorah, officially launched the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations. The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations poster, which was designed by the talented Ghanaian illustrator, Hanson Akatti, was then presented to the crowd.

The Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations were designed with invaluable input from world renowned children’s writer-illustrator, Meshack Asare, and two-time Caldecott award winning illustrator, Paul Zelinksy, both of who have facilitated Golden Baobab Illustrator workshops in Accra. Award winning children’s book writer-illustrator, Niki Daly, also lent his expertise to the designing of the prizes.

Deborah Ahenkorah spoke some more on the new prizes, saying, “illustrators will be asked to submit illustrations per Golden Baobab specifications. Once we have received all the submissions, we will have dedicated art teachers, illustrators, publishers, teachers and children from all over the world who will sift through them and together, decide on a longlist. These will then go on to the judges who will ultimately decide on the winners.”  She further stated that the judges will be looking out for illustrators who are not only talented but are passionate about illustrating for children and have a track record to show for it.

Other guests who attended the launch include Larry Otoo, renowned Ghanaian painter, Kathy Knowles,  children’s book writer and publisher, Jarreth Merz, Ghanaian film producer whose work includes “An African Election,” a documentary on Ghana’s 2012 presidential elections,  Giulia Tavolato, the Country Manager for Reach for Change, and other Golden Baobab supporters.

 The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations were sponsored by the kind donations of individuals all around the world during Golden Baobab’s Global Giving campaign. The organization is currently looking for meaningful partnerships to help take its work further.

Speaking about her expectations of the new prizes, Nanama B. Acheampong, coordinator of the Golden Baobab Prizes expressed her excitement at the endless possibilities: “With these new illustration prizes we hope to discover African illustrators who, hand in hand with African writers, will create beautiful books for African children!”

More information on the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrations will be up on the Golden Baobab website soon (www.goldenbaobab.org). For more photos of the launch, visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151713369466734.1073741839.20509716733&type=1.

Golden Baobab Prizes Shortlist 2013

Golden Baobab Prizes Shortlist 2013

Accra,Ghana, November 1, 2013: 180 stories were submitted to this year’s Golden Baobab Prizes. Of these, 25 made it onto the longlist and 8 to the shortlist. The 8 shortlisted stories are:

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

The Princess with a Golden Voice – Philip Begho (Nigeria)

The Little Hippo – Liza Esterhuyse (South Africa)

Grandma Mimo’s Breakfast – Carol Gachiengo (Kenya)

 

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

Seven – Sabina Mutangadura (Zimbabwe)

Rhino – Richard Street (South Africa)

What’s going on at 179 Jabulani Street? – Karen Hurt (South Africa)

 

The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers

The Little Secret – Fego Martins Ahia (Nigeria)

Pieces of Africa – Kanengo Rebecca Diallo (Tanzania)

Chair of judges for the Picture Book Prize, Zetta Elliott, whose first picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee and Low Books’ New Voices Contest, commented on the shortlist saying, "I'm very impressed with the range and originality of the stories. This year's shortlist suggests that there are plenty of emerging authors who take seriously the task of nourishing the imagination of African children. These stories have magic, mystery, and important lessons about the value of community. They confirm what we already know: Africa's literary landscape is rich and diverse!"

The Golden Baobab Prizes, now in its fifth year, were set up to find the very best writers of African children’s literature. This year’s shortlist suggests that the judges; Bernardine Evaristo, Esi-Sutherland-Addy, Nonikiwe Mashologu, Zetta Elliott, Annette Hansen and Osayimwense Osa, all have varying ideas about what constitutes good fiction for children. This has ensured a very diverse 2013 shortlist.

Osayimwense Osa, founding author of the Journal of African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL), is a firm believer in the power of literature. He says, “It transform the world from confusion and violence to peace is immense and so it is wise to get children reading in their formative years. They must have access to literature which is in touch with social functions, individual lives, and world realities and some of the stories in the shortlist do just that.”

The shortlist comes out after over 8 weeks of the rigorous Golden Baobab Prizes evaluation process. It is evident that African writers are passionate about creating beautiful stories to ignite the imaginations of African children everywhere. The winners of the 2013 prizes will be announced on 13 November.

 

2013 Golden Baobab Prizes Winners Announced

2013 Golden Baobab Prizes Shortlist Announced

Accra,Ghana, November 13th, 2013:We are proud to announce the distinguished winners of the 2013 Golden Baobab Prizes:

• Liza Esterhuyse from South Africa who wins Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books with her story, The Little Hippo.

• Karen Hurt, also from South Africa, who wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books for her story, What’s Going on at 179 Jabulani Street?.

• Kanengo Rebecca Diallo from Tanzania, who wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers for her story, Pieces of Africa. The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers is given to a young writer who is 18 years and below who shows exceptional literary promise.

The 2013 Golden Baobab Prizes received a total of 180 submissions. The longlist for the Prizes which was announced on 30th August showcased 25 stories selected from 6 African countries. The shortlist followed in early November with 8 stories from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. This year’s prizes winners represent two countries: South Africa and Tanzania.

This is the fifth year of the Golden Baobab Prizes, which were established in July 2008 to inspire the creation of enthralling, culturally relevant African children’s stories by African writers. The Prizes offer monetary prizes, publishing opportunities for winners of the Picture Book and Early Chapter Book Prizes, and the opportunity for the Rising Writer to be a part of the prestigious panel of judges for the 2014 prizes.

Judges for the 2013 Golden Baobab Prizes include award winning author and founder of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, Bernardine Evaristo, recipient of the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest, Zetta Elliott, African Studies scholar, Esi Sutherland-Addy, IBBY SA Chairperson, Nonikiwe Mashologu, English teacher and researcher, Annette Hansen, and Osayimwinse Osa, founding editor of the Journal of African Children’s and Youth Literature (JACYL).

Last year’s winners of the Golden Baobab Prizes were Joy Nwiyi from Nigeria, Jenny Robson from Botswana and South Africa and Rutendo Chabikwa from Zimbabwe.

2013 Golden Baobab Prizes Longlist Announced

2013 Golden Baobab Prizes Longlist Announced

Accra, August 30th, 2013: The 2013 Golden Baobab Prize longlist has been announced. The prize, celebrating its 5th year, was set up to inspire the creation of enthralling African children’s stories. Golden Baobab offers three prizes: The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books and The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers. The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books and The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books is open to all African citizens. The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers is open to budding African writers under the age of eighteen years.

According to Nanama B. Acheampong, coordinator of the Golden Baobab Prizes, “Golden Baobab is really excited about this year’s stories and we are looking forward to growing further by publishing a collection of these amazing stories we have received. We are currently looking to partner with corporations that share in our vision to bring these stories to the doorsteps of African children everywhere.”

The longlist had the strongest representation from Nigeria and South Africa. Other countries that featured were Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.  Philip Begho and Ayibu Makolo, both Nigerian, had two stories each on the longlist. Below is the full longlist:

Longlist for the Picture Book Prize

Carol Gachiengo – Grandma Mimo’s Breakfast (Kenya)

Mandy Collins – Dad Goes to School (South Africa)

Philip Begho – The Princess with the Golden Voice (Nigeria)

Liza Esterhuyse – The Little Hippo (South Africa)

Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Elelenma (Nigeria)

Philip Begho – The Two-Headed Monster (Nigeria)

Regina Malan – The Butterfly Tree (South Africa)

Ansie Nel - Thumisang and Pulane (South Africa)

Ayibu Makolo– The Little Yellow Frog (Nigeria)

Nahida Esmail – Bibo Learns to Speak the Truth (Tanzania)

 

Longlist for the Early Chapter Book Prize

Fawa Conradie – Kay Cera Cera (South Africa)

Sabina Mutangadura – Seven (Zimbabwe)

Edith-Susan Uchenna – Christmas in Kemah’s Home Town (Nigeria)

Richard Street – Rhino (South Africa)

Sedem Abla Agbolosu - Kwame Gets a Job (Ghana)

Tunji Ajibade – In the End (Nigeria)

Karen Hurt – What’s Going on at 179 Jabulani Street? (South Africa)

Ayibu Makolo – Madam’s Maid (Nigeria)

Derek Lubangakene – Of Ghosts and Grave-Robbers (Uganda)

Olorunfunmi Temitope – Grandma’s Hens (Nigeria)

 

Longlist for The Rising Writer Prize

Jennifer Sarfo – Songs of Gods (Ghana)

Kanengo Diallo – Pieces of Africa (Tanzania)

Fego Martins Ahia – The Little Secret (Nigeria)

Asantewa Owusu-Darko – The Busting of the Greedy Gangster (Ghana)

Freda Sarfo – Making a Wish (Ghana)

The shortlist for the Golden Baobab Prizes will be announced on 30th October and the winners will be announced on 13th November, 2013. Past winners of the Golden Baobab Prizes have included Joy Nwiyi from Nigeria, Jenny Robson from Botswana and South Africa and Rutendo Chabikwa from Zimbabwe who won the 2012 Rising Writer Prize.

Visit the blog for the summaries of the longlisted stories and the biographies of the writers.

 

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