Ruby Excel, Mali Kambandu, Simbarashe Steyn Kundizeza: The Island Prize 2024 Shortlist

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The Island Prize has announced the shortlisted candidates for the 2024 Island Prize. Among the shortlisted authors are Ruby Excel (Ghana),  Mali Kambandu (Zambia), Simbarashe Steyn Kundizeza (Zimbabwe).

The African authors shortlisted for the prize among others showed the prowess of literature as a beacon of truth in the society. Their books of which they were shortlisted are:

  • “Freelance”, Simbarashe Steyn Kundizeza
  • “Lyrics To The Color Red”, Ruby Excel
  • “When The Shadows Call”, Mali Kambandu

Simbarashe Steyn Kundizeza is a fiction writer based in Harare, Zimbabwe whose previous publishing credits include short stories in the 2018 Africa Book Club Short Story Competition anthology and Transition Magazine Issue 131. His works include, Navigating the Challenging Path of a Self-Taught Author, Flawed Heroes: Why Your Characters Need Flaws.

Mali Kambandu is a writer living in her homeland Zambia. In 2018, Mali won the Kalemba Short Story Award in its inaugural year for the short story A hand to hold and was shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Award for the story The Photograph. Mali’s other work has appeared in several literary platforms, such as Gyara Journal,, The Kalahari Review, Menelique and Maapilim. 

The Island prize was set up in honour of South African author Karen Jennings’ Booker-longlisted novel An Island. It is administered by Jennings in partnership with her publishers Holland House Books (UK) and Karavan Press (South Africa). In addition to a cash award of £500, £300, and £200 for first, second and third place respectively, the top three manuscripts will be considered for publication, and their authors introduced to an agent.

Congratulations to Kundizeza, Ruby and Kambandu!


Bakare Oluwatobiloba

I write to educate, motivate and define history with literature. Just being me!