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Kenyan banker wins literature award

By Standard Reporter | Published Tue, September 4th 2018 at 20:17, Updated September 4th 2018 at 20:27 GMT +3

Oxford University Press East Africa Author and Banker, Mr. Kinyanjui Kombani (Left) is congratulated by Mr. Guy Amartefio, Head of Ghana Library Authority (Right) for winning the 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature for his book Finding Colombia. Kombani was announced the winner at the Burt Award Ceremony held last week at the Ghana International Book Fair in Accra. [Photo: Courtesy]

Oxford University Press East Africa author, Kinyanjui Kombani, has won the 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature for his book Finding Colombia.

Kombani ‘the banker who writes’ was announced the winner at the Burt Award Ceremony held last week at the Ghana International Book Fair in Accra.

His winning book is based on the life of a street boy named Lex whose fortunes change after he gets recruited by officers from the Anti-Drugs Agency to work as an undercover agent in an investigation to track down a notorious but elusive drug baron.

“This is a great honour. When my manuscript was submitted, I didn’t have the slightest idea it would be shortlisted, let alone win the grand prize. I hope people get as much enjoyment from reading the book as I did from writing it. I would like to thank my publisher Oxford University Press for believing in me,” said Mr Kombani.

Kombani received a cash prize of $ 10,000 CND, while his publisher, Oxford University Press East Africa Ltd, received a guaranteed purchase of 2,000 copies for distribution in Kenya, 2,000 copies for distribution in Tanzania, and a $ 2,000 CND grant to market the title across Africa.

The 2018 CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature Honour Book went to To Kiss a Girl (Ghana) by Ruby Yayra Goka, published by Digibooks Ghana Ltd.  The other finalists were The Lion’s Whisper (Ghana) by Elizabeth-Irene Baitie, published by Kwadwoan Publishers; Ebony Girl (Ghana) by Vera Akumiah, published by Kwadwoan Publishers; and Somebody’s Daughter (Ethiopia) by Hiwot Walelign published by Mega Publishing.

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The CODE Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature is a literary prize and readership initiative that recognizes excellence in locally authored literature for young adults aged 12 to18.

About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is the world’s authority on the English language. As part of the University of Oxford, we are committed to furthering English language learning worldwide. We continuously bring together our experience, expertise and research to create resources, helping millions of learners of English to achieve their potential.

About Code Burt Awards

The Code Burt Award for African Young Adult Literature was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for more than 59 years – in collaboration with the Literacy Prizes Foundation. The CODE Burt Literacy Award is a global readership initiative that has programs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, the Caribbean, and Canada.

 


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