Kwani receives Dutch literary award

September 13, 2010 – Kwani Trust is the beneficiary of an award worth EUR25,000 in recognition for revolutionising creative literary production in Kenya and across Anglophone Africa.

The Prince Claus Award 2010 was awarded by the Netherlands foundation, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, in honour of the work of Kwani Trust and its editors, Binyavanga Wainaina and Billy Kahura.


The Dutch embassy in Nairobi said in a statement that they hope to honour the award winners at a special event later this year.

The jury report states: “Starting in 2003, it (Kwani Trust) launched an independent literary journal, Kwani? to challenge the institutionalised academic control of authorship and entrenched literary conventions of an older generation.

The statement commends Binyavanga and Kahura for actively encouraging new talent, original sensibilities and creative use of language.

“Poetry has a strong presence, alongside humour and slang. The wide range of stories, personal narratives and commentaries reflect day-to-day realities, exploring topics such as urbanisation, relationships, ethnicity, injustice and politics. The pool of contributors is constantly expanding and includes writers from many African countries.”

This year’s theme for the 2010 Prince Claus Awards is Frontiers of Reality, and for consideration were individuals and organizations who challenge reality and by so doing contribute to the development of society.

The last Kenyan to win the award was celebrated cartoonist, GADO.

The Prince Claus Fund is based in Amsterdam and is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

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