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                                                                       2016 Golden Baobab Winners                                                                                                           

The Golden Baobab Prize Announces 2016 Winners and Shortlist

 Accra, Ghana, November 21, 2016 – Golden Baobab is delighted to announce the winners of the 7th edition of the Golden Baobab Prize. The Prize is often referred to as the “African Newbery Prize”, and is renowned as a pioneering and prestigious award in the African children’s literature industry.

This year, the Golden Baobab​ ​Prize received over 150 stories from 11 African countries.​ ​The submissions were judged by​ ​an​ ​impressive​ ​jury from diverse backgrounds who collectively brought nearly 100 years of experience in children’s literature to the selection of the 2016 winners and finalists.   

The winning stories of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize are:

  • The Ama-zings! by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books.

  • Kita and the Red, Dusty Road by Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.  

The winner of each Golden Baobab Prize receives​ ​a cash prize of 5,000 USD and a guaranteed publishing contract.​​

2016 Golden Baobab Prize Shortlist.

 

 Those shortlisted were:  

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Maya and the Finish Line by Ayo Oyeku from Nigeria

  • Lights and Freedom by Khethiwe Mndawe from South Africa

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • A Dark Night for Wishes by Kai Tuomi from South Africa

  • Mr. Cocka-Rocka-Roo by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa​

The Executive Director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum commented, “For the past seven years, The Golden Baobab Prize has​ ​focused on delivering a quality annual literature prize that raises awareness about the need for more African literature for children.​ ​Now, the Prize is excited to enter a new​ ​phase where we​ ​will focus heavily on setting up more publishing partnerships and opportunities for our writers to get more African books into the hands of children. ​For the first​ ​time, this year's winning stories are guaranteed a publishing contract. The longlist also receives publishing services from Golden Baobab​ ​that will​ ​connect their​ ​stories to leading African and international publishers.”

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We are excited to share that, two stories from the Golden Baobab Prize have been published into books this year.

Cover of book, Malaika's Magical Kiosk      Cover of book, Dad Goes to School

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk written by Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam from Kenya (for readers 7-10 years old) and Dad Goes to School by Mandy Collins from South Africa (for readers 5-8 years old) were longlisted in the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.

As part of our commitment to the finalists of our Prize, we connected the top stories from the Prize to African and international publishing opportunities.

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School, were produced by Mango Books, an imprint of Quramo Publishing Limited, an independent publishing company based in Nigeria. Quramo Publishing Limited is part of Golden Baobab’s growing network of publishing partners who are committed to our vision to spread more books by Africans to young readers all over the world.

Watch for a snippet of Malaika's Magical Kiosk

Watch for a snippet of Dad Goes to School

Our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum attended the launch of the children's books, which was held in Lagos, Nigeria, to show support to the longlisted authors, literacy and publishing initiatives of Mango Books.

 Book Reading at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch        Our Executive Director at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School are available to download on Amazon. To buy copies in Nigeria, kindly visit Quramo Publishing Limited's website. For copies in Ghana, please contact Golden Baobab.

 
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We are very honored that our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum has been recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for her work as a literacy and education advocate and her contributions to the space through Golden Baobab and our sister company, African Bureau Stories.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah was nominated and selected as one of the 30 rising literacy leaders for the International Literacy Association’s second annual 30 Under 30 list! The 30 under 30 list which recognizes up-and-coming literacy champions around the globe and this year’s list of honorees consist ‘rising leaders’ from 12 countries and several sectors. The winners are made up of nonprofit leaders, classroom teachers, authors, volunteers, researchers, and social entrepreneurs, who have championed projects that have directly improved literacy in their communities.

DUNK Student Athletes received their book bags from Deborah & GeeBee The Book Bag

Student Athletes from DUNK, a basketball after school program received their book bags from Deborah & our mascot, GeeBee The Book Bag

 Our Executive Director was featured (on the front page!) of Literacy Today, the member magazine of the International Literacy Association. To read the full magazine interview and inspiring stories of other literary champions who made the list, click here.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today  

 

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Golden Baobab was invited to speak and exhibit illustrations at the 2016 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), held in Singapore. AFCC is an annual event organized by the National Book Development Council of Singapore to celebrate and promote the creation and appreciation of children’s book content, with a focus on Asian themes. The AFCC 2016 had over 100 local and international speakers, including authors, illustrators, publishers, media professionals and advocates from countries across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. Golden Baobab was proud to be representing the African continent.

2016 AFCC panel on We Need Diverse Books

Like the African continent, Asia boasts of widely diverse cultures and languages. Both regions have a shared history of colonization and today even experience similar development challenges. Being invited to AFCC was an opportunity for Golden Baobab to get to know works and writers from Asia and vice versa. While children’s books from Africa and Asia may not be traveling widely to readers all over the world, it is collaborations and partnerships such as this one that begin to pave the way for increased awareness of children’s literature from our respective parts of the world.

At the festival, our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum spoke on various panels about the African children’s industry, its challenges and the role Golden Baobab is playing in the space. She discussed the transformative power of culturally sensitive stories on children and examined various possible models for the effective distribution of books. Deborah revealed various steps our sister company, African Bureau Stories, is taking to navigate publishing and upcoming titles.

Our Executive Director speaking at the 2016 AFCC in Singapore      Our Executive Director speaking at the 2016 AFCC in Singapore

Also part of the festival, finalists illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators were exhibited in Singapore at the Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG) from May to June. BIG is part of AFCC, and aims to showcase local and regional illustrators and artists and promote them to a wider audience. Importantly, it offers a platform for authors, publishers and the public to take note of illustrators showcased.


Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

 

Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

  Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

 

The finalist illustrations showcased eleven of the finest illustrators from 5 countries across Africa. The artists featured were:

  • Elizabeth Jeffery, South Africa (http://www.greenorebooks.co.za/)

  • Melany Pietersen, South Africa (www.melanypietersen.com &  www.happyartworks.com)

  • Gyimah Gariba, Ghana (ggariba.tumblr.com)

  • Jillian Slabbert, South Africa (http://jiljarvis.co.za/)

  • Lorraine Alvarez, Zimbabwe (www.facebook.com/lorraine.alvarez.posen.art)

  • Mokoena Kobeli, South Africa (www.facebook.com/mokoena.kobeli1 or www.behance.net/mokoenakobeli)

  • Robert Foote, South Africa (www.facebook.com/robfooteillustration)

  • Setor Fiadzibey, Ghana (www.facebook.com/setor.fiadzigbey)

  • Shan Fischer, South Africa (www.shanfischer.com)

  • Wesley Van Eeden, South Africa (www.facebook.com/Resoborg)

  • Xanele Puren, South Africa (www.seesawdo.com)

  • Zineb Benjelloun, Morroco (www.facebook.com/ZNBillustrated)


Collage of finalist illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators

  Collage of finalist illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators 

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Golden Baobab announces that the second edition of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, which was launched on International Children's Book Day 2016, will begin to receive submissions in January 2017.

The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators is designed to discover and celebrate talented African artists and invite them to create exciting illustrations that can bring children's books to life. It offers its finalists a compelling package of media and publicity, exposure to African and international publishers and participation in an exhibition of all finalist illustrators. The winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators receives this finalist package as well as a cash prize of 5,000 USD.

Golden Baobab is committed to supporting and promoting African illustrators and developing this important professional community of the children’s book industry. The Prize for Illustrators is organized in addition to the Golden Baobab Prizes for Children's Literature which have been running since 2008. 

For more information on submissions guidelines and deadlines of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, click here

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