Mukandi Siame Wins Inaugural Ubwali Hope Prize

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Mukandi Siame has won the 2024 Hope Prize by Ubwali Literary Magazine in collaboration with Shenandoah. The Zambian writer won with her essay, “Like Mother”.

The winner was picked from a shortlist of five by Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Mubanga Kalimamukwento. She said the following about the winning piece: “Rereading Mukandi Siame’s Like Mother was as striking this time as it was the first. With prose reminiscent of poetry, the winning essay exceeds the expectations it sets in the title, not only scrutinising the parallels between self and  Mother but also beautifully laying bare the shifting relationships with memory, the expectations of womanhood, and the meaning of love in loss. It is beautiful, poignant, and hopeful–even in the face of death.”

2024 Hope Prize winner, Mukandi Siame

Mukandi is a writer and brand strategist devoted to books, dogs and one-pot rice dishes. Her short stories “Landing On Clouds” and “No Strings Attached” were runner-ups in the Zambia Women Writers Award and Kalemba Short Story Prize 2023, respectively. She contributes to Nkwazi, Myaambo Writers Cooperative, AFREADA and writes a personal newsletter called Kandi’s Notes. She believes great stories can change the world.

2024 Hope Prize jury (Ubwali prose and poetry editorial team), from L to R: Mbozi Haimbe, Fiske Nyirongo, Akal Mohan, and Mubanga Kalimamukwento

Ubwali Literary Magazine set up the Hope Prize in partnership with Shenandoah, to celebrate the best of Zambian prose and poetry. One winner, selected each year, receives an honorarium of $500, and is featured in the fall issue of Shenandoah. This jury for this year’s prize consisted of Ubwali Literary Magazine‘s prose and poetry editorial team, Mbozi Haimbe, Fiske Serah Nyirongo, and Akal Mohan, chaired by the Editor-in-Chief, Mubanga Kalimamukwento. 

The prize is named for Mubanga’s mother, who loved and taught literature in Zambia until her death in 1998. Her name was Hope. Only work by Zambian writers published in Ubwali Literary Magazine are consideredThere is no separate application process, other than being published in Ubwali Literary Magazine as a Zambian writer.

Congratulations, Mukandi!