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South Sudanese scoops 2023 African poetry Award

By William Madouk


South Sudanese poet, James Marial Awendit has won the 2023 African Writers Awards (AWA) for poetry, triumphing over five other competitors in the continent.

Mr. Awendit, who is also an essayist and songwriter, made history in stiff competition with his poem ‘The Nilotic Coddiwomple,’ a group of poems that talk about people in the labyrinth of cultures shining out.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the following awards: the African Writers Awards for Poetry; the Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature; and the African Teen Writers Awards,” pronounced chief judge Anthony ‘PenBoss’ Onugba at the award ceremony held in Ghana.

“I am pleased to inform you (Awendit) that you were announced the winner of the 2023 African Writer Awards for Poetry,” he declared.

Mr. Awendit was provided with a certificate, an amount of $500, a contract to get his book published on Amazon eBooks, and a mentorship scholarship.

The competition was organized by AWA, a platform dedicated to amplifying the voices of African writers and sharing their diverse perspectives with a global audience. Through a rich tapestry of genres, including poetry, short stories, flash fiction, children’s literature, and creative nonfiction.

In an exclusive interview with the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Mr. Awendit said he was delighted to be declared the winner for 2023.

“I’m so delighted by the win and the reception associated with the South Sudanese people. The win is an important milestone for our literary landscape,” he expressed.

The renowned poet dedicated his award to his late father, Matueny, as the award coincided with the day his father passed away.

“The 2023 African Writers Award for Poetry is dedicated to my father, Matueny Majak Malou. The book that is scheduled to be published as one of the entitlements for winning the award is dedicated to him,” he said.

“I got awarded on November 4, 2023, on the same date he passed away, on November 4, 2014. I hope you see how God communicates with people,” Awendit noted.

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