Golden Baobab

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The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize Call for Submissions

Accra, Ghana, 31st March 2017 - Golden Baobab is pleased to announce the call for submissions for the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize. The Prize discovers and celebrates African writers and illustrators of children's stories and confers awards for their work. After enjoying nine successful years as an industry leader, Golden Baobab this year announces an exciting new phase with a heavier focus on publishing. It also announces the re-opening of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, the most important award for African children's book illustrators.

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize offers a distinct platform for professional African writers and illustrators to kick-start their careers. The Prize will work to facilitate relationships between African publishers and finalist writers and illustrators with the goal to see more African children's books being published. In view of this, Golden Baobab is excited to expand its publishing network and increase its impact in more countries.

Commenting on the launch of the 2018 Prize Victor Kyerematen, the organization's Prize Coordinator said, "In the past, Golden Baobab has done a fantastic job of highlighting and honouring fresh voices in African children's literature. Henceforth, we are eagerly prioritizing work that gets more African books in the hands of children."

The 2018 Golden Baobab Prize offers three awards:
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 4-8.
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books for the best story targeting a reader audience of ages 9-11.
• The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators for the best artwork that matches illustration briefs provided, intended for children ages 4-11.

Winners of the 2018 Golden Baobab Prize will receive a cash prize of 5,000 USD. In addition to press publicity, winning stories are guaranteed a publishing deal, finalist writers are connected with publishers across Africa and finalist illustrators participate in exhibitions and workshops.

The final deadline for submission is 1st December 2017. Golden Baobab invites African writers and illustrators to submit entries for this year's Prize and spread the word among their networks.

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Vennessa Scholtz

Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa, Winner of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.

 

How do you feel about being a winner of the Golden Baobab Prizes? What does it mean for you?

I am humbled and honoured to be a winner of this prestigious award, more so because this is my first foray into writing literature for this age group. I am grateful and blessed for a God given opportunity to write this story, and for the possibility of it reaching and encouraging a new generation of readers.

How did you hear about the Golden Baobab Prize? and how is Golden Baobab’s work important to you?

I had seen some of the books at my library and then went looking for Golden Baobab online. It is important that African children read stories about them, for them and set in the world they live in. Golden Baobab gives these stories an opportunity to be published and read.

What fascinates you about (African) children's literature?
 

These are stories I can relate to. It’s the stories my children can understand because it’s about their reality and the continent they live on. It’s something we need to appreciate as often children’s stories are about far away countries and about situations that are foreign to us.

What were the hurdles you had to overcome to produce or publish your work? How did you surmount them?

The most difficult aspect was to find the time to write. I have a full time job, and I’m a wife and mother of two grown sons, so finding time just to sit and write was difficult. I forced myself to spend at least 30 minutes writing when I got home in the evening. Sometimes I would just put down words and at other times I actually worked on definite pieces of writing.

What ambitions do you have for your career?
 

Winning Golden Baobab has given me the kick start I needed. I didn’t think I would win, so much so that I already started working on an entry for next year. I hope to continue writing children’s stories that will make a positive impact on the reading habits of our young people.

 
 

 

Lori-Ann Preston

Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa, Winner of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books.

 

How do you feel about being a winner of the Golden Baobab Prizes? What does it mean for you?

 I’m absolutely thrilled, grateful and honored to be a winner of The Golden Baobab Prizes.  To have received recognition of my writing by such a prestigious panel of judges is both humbling, exciting and a dream come true.

How did you hear about the Golden Baobab Prize? and how is Golden Baobab’s work important to you?

 The competition was advertised by SCBWI an international children’s writing society that I’m a member of.  I then googled The Golden Baobab Prize and was immediately excited to become a part of such an amazing endeavour. I certainly share in The Golden Baobab’s vision ‘to create a world filled with wonder and possibilities for children, one African story at a time’.  And I am delighted to become a part of The Golden Baobab team. The Golden Baobab Prize has also given me the opportunity as an unpublished writer to become recognized and supported, which I am extremely grateful for.

What fascinates you about (African) children's literature?

I absolutely love my beautiful country and its incredible diversity. I find African children’s stories to be both fun and educational and I love reading children stories that they can relate to.

How did you become interested in books and writing?

My mom has always been an avid reader.  She introduced me, as a young child to the wonderful world of books. My most memorable and favourite book would be Enid Blyton’s, Up The Faraway Tree, which my mom read to me as a young child.  The characters had such a huge impact on my life and I so wanted to meet Moonface and Silky the fairy. I have always had a calling to write children’s stories and I’m passionate about educating children. As a teacher who has read hundreds of books to children over the past twenty years, nothing brings me more pleasure, than introducing children to the wonderful world of their imagination.

What ambitions do you have for your career?

The hope for my career is that I can continue to write more and more and more books.  I’m also a strong believer in life-long learning and would love to continue with my studies. The hope for my books is that they will spread joy, education and the love of reading into the hearts of all the children of Africa.

 

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                                                                       2016 Golden Baobab Winners                                                                                                           

The Golden Baobab Prize Announces 2016 Winners and Shortlist

 Accra, Ghana, November 21, 2016 – Golden Baobab is delighted to announce the winners of the 7th edition of the Golden Baobab Prize. The Prize is often referred to as the “African Newbery Prize”, and is renowned as a pioneering and prestigious award in the African children’s literature industry.

This year, the Golden Baobab​ ​Prize received over 150 stories from 11 African countries.​ ​The submissions were judged by​ ​an​ ​impressive​ ​jury from diverse backgrounds who collectively brought nearly 100 years of experience in children’s literature to the selection of the 2016 winners and finalists.   

The winning stories of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize are:

  • The Ama-zings! by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books.

  • Kita and the Red, Dusty Road by Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa, Winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.  

The winner of each Golden Baobab Prize receives​ ​a cash prize of 5,000 USD and a guaranteed publishing contract.​​

2016 Golden Baobab Prize Shortlist.

 

 Those shortlisted were:  

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Maya and the Finish Line by Ayo Oyeku from Nigeria

  • Lights and Freedom by Khethiwe Mndawe from South Africa

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • A Dark Night for Wishes by Kai Tuomi from South Africa

  • Mr. Cocka-Rocka-Roo by Lori-Ann Preston from South Africa​

The Executive Director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum commented, “For the past seven years, The Golden Baobab Prize has​ ​focused on delivering a quality annual literature prize that raises awareness about the need for more African literature for children.​ ​Now, the Prize is excited to enter a new​ ​phase where we​ ​will focus heavily on setting up more publishing partnerships and opportunities for our writers to get more African books into the hands of children. ​For the first​ ​time, this year's winning stories are guaranteed a publishing contract. The longlist also receives publishing services from Golden Baobab​ ​that will​ ​connect their​ ​stories to leading African and international publishers.”

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We are excited to share that, two stories from the Golden Baobab Prize have been published into books this year.

Cover of book, Malaika's Magical Kiosk      Cover of book, Dad Goes to School

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk written by Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam from Kenya (for readers 7-10 years old) and Dad Goes to School by Mandy Collins from South Africa (for readers 5-8 years old) were longlisted in the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books.

As part of our commitment to the finalists of our Prize, we connected the top stories from the Prize to African and international publishing opportunities.

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School, were produced by Mango Books, an imprint of Quramo Publishing Limited, an independent publishing company based in Nigeria. Quramo Publishing Limited is part of Golden Baobab’s growing network of publishing partners who are committed to our vision to spread more books by Africans to young readers all over the world.

Watch for a snippet of Malaika's Magical Kiosk

Watch for a snippet of Dad Goes to School

Our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum attended the launch of the children's books, which was held in Lagos, Nigeria, to show support to the longlisted authors, literacy and publishing initiatives of Mango Books.

 Book Reading at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch        Our Executive Director at Quramo Publishing's Book Launch

Malaika’s Magical Kiosk and Dad Goes to School are available to download on Amazon. To buy copies in Nigeria, kindly visit Quramo Publishing Limited's website. For copies in Ghana, please contact Golden Baobab.

 
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We are very honored that our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum has been recognized by the International Literacy Association (ILA) for her work as a literacy and education advocate and her contributions to the space through Golden Baobab and our sister company, African Bureau Stories.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum on the Cover Page of ILA's Literacy Today Magazine

Deborah was nominated and selected as one of the 30 rising literacy leaders for the International Literacy Association’s second annual 30 Under 30 list! The 30 under 30 list which recognizes up-and-coming literacy champions around the globe and this year’s list of honorees consist ‘rising leaders’ from 12 countries and several sectors. The winners are made up of nonprofit leaders, classroom teachers, authors, volunteers, researchers, and social entrepreneurs, who have championed projects that have directly improved literacy in their communities.

DUNK Student Athletes received their book bags from Deborah & GeeBee The Book Bag

Student Athletes from DUNK, a basketball after school program received their book bags from Deborah & our mascot, GeeBee The Book Bag

 Our Executive Director was featured (on the front page!) of Literacy Today, the member magazine of the International Literacy Association. To read the full magazine interview and inspiring stories of other literary champions who made the list, click here.

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today

Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum features as the cover story for Literacy Today  

 

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Golden Baobab was invited to speak and exhibit illustrations at the 2016 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), held in Singapore. AFCC is an annual event organized by the National Book Development Council of Singapore to celebrate and promote the creation and appreciation of children’s book content, with a focus on Asian themes. The AFCC 2016 had over 100 local and international speakers, including authors, illustrators, publishers, media professionals and advocates from countries across Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. Golden Baobab was proud to be representing the African continent.

2016 AFCC panel on We Need Diverse Books

Like the African continent, Asia boasts of widely diverse cultures and languages. Both regions have a shared history of colonization and today even experience similar development challenges. Being invited to AFCC was an opportunity for Golden Baobab to get to know works and writers from Asia and vice versa. While children’s books from Africa and Asia may not be traveling widely to readers all over the world, it is collaborations and partnerships such as this one that begin to pave the way for increased awareness of children’s literature from our respective parts of the world.

At the festival, our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah Osei-Agyekum spoke on various panels about the African children’s industry, its challenges and the role Golden Baobab is playing in the space. She discussed the transformative power of culturally sensitive stories on children and examined various possible models for the effective distribution of books. Deborah revealed various steps our sister company, African Bureau Stories, is taking to navigate publishing and upcoming titles.

Our Executive Director speaking at the 2016 AFCC in Singapore      Our Executive Director speaking at the 2016 AFCC in Singapore

Also part of the festival, finalists illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators were exhibited in Singapore at the Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG) from May to June. BIG is part of AFCC, and aims to showcase local and regional illustrators and artists and promote them to a wider audience. Importantly, it offers a platform for authors, publishers and the public to take note of illustrators showcased.


Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

 

Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

  Illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators exhibited at BIG, Singapore

 

The finalist illustrations showcased eleven of the finest illustrators from 5 countries across Africa. The artists featured were:

  • Elizabeth Jeffery, South Africa (http://www.greenorebooks.co.za/)

  • Melany Pietersen, South Africa (www.melanypietersen.com &  www.happyartworks.com)

  • Gyimah Gariba, Ghana (ggariba.tumblr.com)

  • Jillian Slabbert, South Africa (http://jiljarvis.co.za/)

  • Lorraine Alvarez, Zimbabwe (www.facebook.com/lorraine.alvarez.posen.art)

  • Mokoena Kobeli, South Africa (www.facebook.com/mokoena.kobeli1 or www.behance.net/mokoenakobeli)

  • Robert Foote, South Africa (www.facebook.com/robfooteillustration)

  • Setor Fiadzibey, Ghana (www.facebook.com/setor.fiadzigbey)

  • Shan Fischer, South Africa (www.shanfischer.com)

  • Wesley Van Eeden, South Africa (www.facebook.com/Resoborg)

  • Xanele Puren, South Africa (www.seesawdo.com)

  • Zineb Benjelloun, Morroco (www.facebook.com/ZNBillustrated)


Collage of finalist illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators

  Collage of finalist illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators 

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Golden Baobab announces that the second edition of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, which was launched on International Children's Book Day 2016, will begin to receive submissions in January 2017.

The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators is designed to discover and celebrate talented African artists and invite them to create exciting illustrations that can bring children's books to life. It offers its finalists a compelling package of media and publicity, exposure to African and international publishers and participation in an exhibition of all finalist illustrators. The winner of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators receives this finalist package as well as a cash prize of 5,000 USD.

Golden Baobab is committed to supporting and promoting African illustrators and developing this important professional community of the children’s book industry. The Prize for Illustrators is organized in addition to the Golden Baobab Prizes for Children's Literature which have been running since 2008. 

For more information on submissions guidelines and deadlines of the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators, click here

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The 2016 Golden Baobab Prize was launched on April 2, 2016 as we commemorated the International Children’s Book Day. This is a very special launch, because we are also celebrating the 7th anniversary of the Prize. To mark this anniversary and the growth of the prize, we have introduced a refreshed identity for the the Golden Baobab Prize and refined award categories and guidelines.

New Golden Baobab Prize Logo

(Picture above: The New Golden Baobab Prize Logo)

The Golden Baobab Prize is committed to discovering, celebrating and nurturing talented African writers and illustrators. The prize has received nearly 2000 entries since its beginning and its jury has included notable literary personalities such as Meshack Asare, Bernadine Evaristo, Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Paul O. Zelinsky. Funding for the prize has come from organizations such as Echoing Green, Tigo Reach for Change and the African Library Project.

This year there are 4 prizes to be awarded: The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books, the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books, the Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators and the Golden Baobab Lifetime Achievement Prize. They come with $20,000 in prize money and publishing opportunities for winning stories.

Click to hear more: 

 

If you are an African writer, illustrator/artist, get excited and ready to submit! And spread the word among other authors and illustrators you know. For more submission details, visit 2016 Prizes

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We are very excited to share that Deborah Ahenkorah, Co-founder and Executive Director of Golden Baobab has been honored with the 2015 Grinnell Prize for Social Justice Innovators. Every year, the prestigious Grinnell Prize recognizes two young innovators from around the world who are creating change with a social justice lens and this initiative is the brain-child of Grinnell College, a private liberal arts college in Iowa. It gives a $100,000 cash award to the innovative leader and their organization.  

The prize ceremony took place on Monday, October 26th 2015 at the Herrick Chapel, on the Grinnell College campus and gave a $100,000 cash award to Deborah Ahenkorah, Golden Baobab and its publishing arm, African Bureau for Children’s Stories. “We are highly honored by this prestigious recognition,” says Deborah, “In our field of work it is sometimes hard to connect with people who see your complete vision and fully understand your approach. The Grinnell Prize’s support validates our work, our efforts, our vision and the thought process behind it all.”

The second winner of the prize, Maria Vertkin, is the Creator and Executive Director of Found in Translation, and is also an Echoing Green fellow. Both Maria and Deborah gave incredible speeches upon receiving their awards. 

 

Click to watch Deborah’s speech: 

 

Click to watch Maria’s speech: 

 

Click to watch the Q & A session from both winners:

  

President Kington of Grinnell College commented, “When I created this program in 2010, my goal was to honor people who are modeling the Grinnellian ideal of learning in the service of social commitment…as the program has matured and thrived, I have come to see that it is also a powerful way to connect our students and community with exceptional social innovators.”

The ceremony culminated in a showing of the prize paintings created by artist Tillly Woodward of the Faulconer Gallery, and commissioned by Grinnell College to commemorate the winners.

Grinnell Prize painting of Golden Baobab created by artist Tillly Woodward  

As part of the prize celebrations, the Falconer Gallery at Grinnell College launched an exhibition of the finalists illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. The installation is featured under the title “Current Styles in African Illustration.” For more on the exhibition kindly visit: http://www.grinnell.edu/about/offices-services/faulconer-gallery/exhibitions

Some of the finalists illustrations from the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators 

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The Grinnell-Newburg school district in Iowa has recently organized a contest to mirror the prestigious Golden Baobab Prizes, and to recognize the opportunities it creates for writers and illustrators of children’s literature across Africa. This rising author and rising illustrator competition targeted children from 3rd to 8th grade, and received an overwhelming response from students in the community. There were multiple writing and illustration workshops organized before the competition deadline, to give tips and encourage interested contestants. The competition was set up as part of the celebrations of the 2015 Grinnell Prize for Social Justice Innovators which Golden Baobab recently won

Judges Deborah Ahenkorah, Golden Baobab staff member, Eunice Ahenkorah and Maria Vertkin, the second Grinnell Prize winner, also lent her support

 

Judges Deborah Ahenkorah, Golden Baobab staff member, Eunice Ahenkorah and Maria Vertkin, the second Grinnell Prize winner, also lent her support

(Pictures above: The judges of the contest hard at work deliberating over the entries) 

In a speech at the award ceremony, Deborah commented, “I am so thankful to the organizers from the school district, the community and Grinnell College for this wonderful initiative. Judging the student entries was such a delight! It was incredible to see the time, effort and thought behind each story and artwork. I am happy to know that Golden Baobab has left an indelible mark on Grinnell.”

There were 6 writing and illustration categories. 12 winners and honorable mentions were awarded books and gift cards during the award ceremony at the Grinnell Middle School. The contest submissions will be compiled and published as a book and offered to the winners as well. This was a great initiative to engage the children from the Grinnell-Newburg community.

The winners and honorable mentions from the contest receive their prizes.

 

The 8th grade winning entrants showing off their submissions to the crowd.

(Pictures above: The winners and honorable mentions from the contest receive their prizes)

 

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We had the pleasure of having our Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah as a guest storyteller during the Grinnell Prize week celebrations. The event at the Drake Community Library was well attended by young kids, parents and supporters from the Grinnell community.

The children in attendance sat on the floor in rap attention and were very engaged as Deborah narrated the story traditionally without reading directly from the book.

(Picture above: Deborah at the storytelling event in Grinnell, Iowa)

Golden Baobab Prize shortlisted story, Abena and the Corn Seed, written by Ghanaian author Vivian Amanor 

(Picture above: Golden Baobab Prize shortlisted story, Abena and the Corn Seed, by Ghanaian author Vivian Amanor)

At the start of the story time event, Deborah was introduced by Golden Baobab staff Eunice Ahenkorah, who also was in attendance. Deborah performed an oral storytelling of a Golden Baobab Prize shortlisted story, which has now been published into a book. The book chosen was Abena and the Corn Seed, written by Ghanaian author Vivian Amanor, and is available for purchase here: http://www.osuchildrenslibraryfund.ca/publications/book-catalogue/

The children’s story time event kicked off the week long celebration of the 2015 Grinnell Prize for Social Justice Innovators which Golden Baobab recently won

The event continued with an art session where the kids made African ceremonial masks from paper and rafia.

(Picture above: Deborah with a young girl at the community library wearing a hand-made face mask)

The event continued with an art session where the kids made African ceremonial masks from paper and rafia.

 (Picture above: Deborah and Eunice with a young boy at the community library wearing a hand-made face mask)

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2015 marks the 7th anniversary of the Golden Baobab Prizes and we are proud to celebrate the incredible triumph this prize has become in a very short time. To mark this milestone, we are re-vamping and improving the Golden Baobab Prizes as well as reviewing several exciting opportunities to deliver increased programming to support African writers and illustrators and to promote African children's literature. The next season of the Golden Baobab Prizes for African Literature and Illustration will open in 2016. We are currently not accepting submissions for the literature or illustration prizes in 2015. Once the prizes open, we will present our new submission guidelines and all relevant details on our website and social media. In the meantime, don't be strangers! Follow us and let's chit-chat on our facebook and twitter @goldenbaobab.

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The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes unveiled some exciting creative writers and illustrators from all over Africa who present incredibly diverse talents. We received nearly 300 submissions from over the African continent and diaspora and narrowed them down to three deserving winners across different categories. Nigerian writer, Mary Okon Ononokpono and Ghanaian author, Portia Dery won the prizes in literature and South African artist, Xanele Puren won the inaugural illustrator’s prize. We are excited to share with the world some of the amazing work of the prize winners and finalists, through these well received media highlights. Do check them out below and enjoy!

Leave a comment and have your say! Tell us what you think or which illustrations are your favorite.

Click to watch Mary Okon Ononokpono, Winner of 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book on France24

 

Click to watch Mary Okon Ononokpono’s interview with This Day Live

 

Click to listen to Portia Dery, Winner of 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Book and Xanele Puren, Winner of 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators on BBC Africa  

 

Click to read Okay Africa’s 10 African Children's Illustrators To Know, which feature the ten finalists of the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators.

Image courtesy of okayafrica.com 

 

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The 52nd Bologna Children’s Book Fair, one of the top publishing industry events of the year, kicked off in March 2015 in Bologna, Italy. The fair ranks among the most important children’s book fair which gathers publishers, copyrights agents, authors, illustrators for children's books, booksellers, distributors, librarians and printers from all over the globe.

Golden Baobab, was invited to attend and exhibit as one of the major stakeholders in the African children’s book industry. Here are some highlights from the week long event!

2015 Bologna Children's Book Fair

 

Deborah Ahenkorah, Executive Director and Co-founder of Golden Baobab at the Bologna Fair

 

African Publishers at the 2015 Bologna book Fair

 

Golden Baobab at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

  

Other Stands at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

 

Oxford Press at the Bologna Book Fair

 

Other Stands at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

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Earlier this year Golden Baobab launched with pomp and pageantry in Accra, Ghana, the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. This is the biggest and most prestigious prize committed to discovering, nurturing and celebrating talented African illustrators of children’s stories. The $7,500 Prize recognizes two talented African illustrators with the awards: The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators and The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators.

Debbie Ahenkorah at GBP Illustrators Event Launch

The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators had an exciting mix of judges who brought diverse perspectives and experiences to the task of identifying Africa’s best children’s illustrator. The judges were:

According to the Executive Director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah, "Golden Baobab is excited to launch this prize to recognize and celebrate talented African illustrators for children stories. Children deserve to have imaginative and captivating illustrations accompany enthralling stories they read. They deserve to not only see themselves represented in those stories but also in the images they consume." 

There were 12 finalists for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. They were:

Here are some of the submitted illustrations from the 2014 finalists.

Collage GBP

The finalists were narrowed down to a shortlist of 3 illustrators: Gyimah Gariba (Ghana), Wesley Van Eeden (South Africa) and Xanele Puren (South Africa). Xanele emerged as the winner of the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. No submission for the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators made it onto the 2014 shortlist.

Shortlist Collage

 Xanele

Here is some of the fantastic press the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators has received:

The Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators are organized alongside Golden Baobab’s annual literature prizes.

 

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Winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes poster

 

We are proud to present the winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes:

  • Portia Dery, from Ghana wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books with her story, Grandma's List.
  • Mary Ononokpono, from Nigeria, wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books for her story, Talulah the Time Traveler.
  • Xanele Puren, from South Africa, wins the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators. The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators is the biggest and most prestigious prize committed to discovering, nurturing and celebrating talented African illustrators of children's stories.

The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature and Illustration received nearly 300 submissions from writers and illustrators across Africa. The longlist for the literature prizes was announced early September and showcased 11 stories, selected from 6 African countries. The shortlist followed late October with 11 stories from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The illustration prizes unveiled 3 shortlisted artists; 2 from South Africa and 1 from Ghana. This year's prize winners represent three countries: Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

Congrats Mary, Portia and Xanele!!

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Judges 2014

Golden Baobab has announced the judges for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes. Established to inspire the writing and publishing of African stories that captivate the minds of children, the prizes award $20,000 to talented African writers and illustrators. 

The 2014 judges are:

  • Summer Edward, Anansesem Caribbean Children’s Literature Ezine founder and editor, Children’s publishing consultant
  • Nancy Drost, Seasoned international educator, Golden Baobab board member
  • Kinna Likimani, Mbaasem Foundation board member, Celebrated book critic (kinnareads.com)
  • Doreen Baingana, Multiple award-winning Ugandan author, Former chairperson FEMRITE
  • Nonikiwe Mashologu, African children’s literature critic, South African literacy activist
  • Kananengo Diallo, 13-year old Tanzanian winner of the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
  • Paul O. Zelinsky, International Award-winning American Illustrator and Writer, Caldecott Medalist
  • Akua Peprah, Early Childhood Educator
  • Kofi Kokua Asante Anyimadu, 8-year old Ghanaian book lover

“We are excited about working with our 2014 judges to discover and celebrate some of the best children’s story writers and illustrators in Africa today,” says the Executive Director of Golden Baobab. “In this 6th year of the prizes, we are proud of the contribution we are making to the children’s literature world and are actively searching for exciting partnerships to expand our reach and impact across Africa. We are seeking major corporate partnerships by our next prize season to further propel our vision of making the heads of children across Africa beautiful places for them to live!”

Full details about the judges can be found here: http://www.goldenbaobab.org/prizes/judges

The winners of the Golden Baobab Prizes will be announced on November 13, 2014

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2014 Shortlist Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature

 

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for African Children's Literature.

The shortlisted writers are:

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • Portia Dery (Ghana) – Grandma’s List
  • Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam (Kenya) – Malaika’s Magical Kiosk
  • Mandy Collins (South Africa) – There is a Hyena in my Kitchen
  • Mike Mware (Zimbabwe) – The Big Ball

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Bontle Senne (South Africa) – The Monster at Midnight
  • Mamle Wolo (Ghana) – Flying through Water
  • Mary Okon Ononokpono (Nigeria) – Talulah the Time Traveller
  • Hillary Molenje Namunyu (Kenya) – Teddy Mapesa and the Missing Cash
  • Jayne Bauling (South Africa) – The Saturday Dress

No stories from the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers made it onto this year's shortlist. The winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature as well as the winners and shortlist for the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators will be announced on November 13, 2014. A hearty congratulations to all writers who have made it this far!

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The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo is a documentary produced and directed by Yaba Mangela Badoo, a shortlisted writer for Golden Baobab Prizes in 2012, which celebrates and explores the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost writers and patron of Golden Baobab, Ama Ata Aidoo.

The feature-length documentary charts Ama Ata Aidoo's creative journey in a life that spans seven decades from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a more sober present day Africa where nurturing women's creative talent remains as hard as ever.

The documentary was premiered last week at the British council in Accra. Among the audience were Golden Baobab’s Executive Director, Deborah Ahenkorah, Abena Karikari, a participant of the Masterclass jointly organized by Mbaasem Foundation and Golden Baobab as well this year's  longlisted writer for Early Chapter Book Prize, Ricky Ansong.

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Here are the seven longlisted writers for this year's Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books:

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mary-Okon.jpgMary Okon Ononokpono is a British based writer, artist and illustrator. Born in Calabar, Nigeria, Mary moved to the United Kingdom as a baby and has lived there ever since. Mary has a passion for African arts, culture and history. With a background in design and journalism, Mary has been featured in numerous Pan-African publications. Following a brief return to Nigeria in December 2012, Mary turned her hand towards creative writing.

Mary says, “I'm delighted to discover that I've been long-listed for this prestigious award! This is the first story Children's story I've written so it comes as a complete shock. My daughter, who happens to be my inspiration for the story is even more delighted than me.”

Talulah the Time Traveller - Talulah Taiwo is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Talulah is an inventor that happens to be obsessed with coding. She lives with her Mum (an independent architect) and with her trusty sidekick, Karma, an intelligent jet black cat. Talulah's latest app has been entered into the 'Minds of Tomorrow' science fair, but Mum is unable to take her due to a looming deadline and poor organisation skills. Disappointed at the thought of Mum letting her down again, Talulah decides to take matters into her own hands. She creates a shock inducing time management app to help Mum keep to time. However in her haste, she accidentally enters part of the code incorrectly. Upon testing the app, Talulah finds herself suddenly transported to an ancient Egyptian city. The trouble is, the unexpected power surge has drained the battery on her tablet. Aided by Karma, a gang of cats, and a curious Egyptian boy, Talulah sets about finding a solution to her problem. Will they get the tablet to work so that she can get back home in time for the fair?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Jayne.jpgJayne Bauling's Young Adult novels have won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, the Maskew Miller Longman Literature Award and the Sanlam Gold Prize for Youth Literature. The most recent, Dreaming of Light, was chosen for the 2014 IBBY Honour List. Her short stories for adults and youth have been published in a number of anthologies. She lives in White River in Mpumalanga, South Africa. 

“As a long-time admirer of Golden Baobab’s commitment to African stories, I’m honoured and thrilled that my story should have made the 2014 long-list for this prestigious award. Congratulations to everyone else on the list and good luck to us all.” Jayne remarked after receiving news she had  been longlisted for the Golden Boabab Prize for Early Chapter Book.

The Saturday Dress - Mavi isn’t too happy about being sent to live with his grandparents in Kabokweni, and discovering that one of his teachers, Ms Mabuza, is their next door neighbour adds to his woes. Things aren’t exactly easy at his new school either, where his only friend seems to be Gcina, but he soon finds himself distracted by a number of mysteries. Matchboxes and money are being hidden in some strange places in his area, and then there’s the child’s dress that hangs on Ms Mabuza’s washing line every Saturday – when there is no child in the house. In trying to solve the matchbox mystery, Mavi makes a mistake which leads to him being misjudged, and he does something terrible in response. How will he ever put things right?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ricky-Dankwa-Ansong.jpgRicky Dankwa Ansong was born in June, 1990 in the bustling city of Accra, Ghana. Ricky developed a love for reading at an early age but he didn’t think he was good enough to write something worth reading. It was only in his second year of high school in Saint Augustine’s College (Cape Coast) that he ventured to write his first novel “Basic Interest” which he never published. In his third year at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, while studying Business Administration, Ricky decided to share his talent with the world.

“I had to take a walk to calm my racing heart. While I did that, I kept repeating the words: God, I thank you.” That was what Ricky did when he received the news he had been longlisted for the Golden Baobab Prizes.

Kweku Ananse: The Tale of the Wolf and the Moon - Sakraman, the wolf, is poor and has no friends. He has nothing to harvest from his farm and, thus, suffers the wrath of Kweku Ananse due his inability to pay the cunning spider what he owes him. The Wolf’s bad luck ends when the Moon hears his plea and decides to offer him help. Soon, the Wolf and the Moon become best friends and the wolf becomes very rich. The cunning spider, Kweku Ananse, follows the Wolf around the Kingdom to discover the source of Wolf’s good fortune. When Ananse discovers the truth behind the Wolf’s wealth, his greedy heart hatches a plan to take it all for himself.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dina.jpgDina Mousa was born in 1984 and grew up in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated from business school majoring in business administration. She started traveling at the age of 24 and moved to South Korea in 2010. She's a wife, animal lover, author, and a traveler.

Dina narrated,  "I was checking my inbox as I do every morning. I saw the email from Golden Baobab, I read it and couldn't believe that I made it to the long list. As I stared at the email my heartbeat got faster and my eyes filled with tears."

The Sunbird and Fatuma - One day a little girl who lives with her loving father in the woods discovers a magical forest. A friendship begins between the little girl, Fatuma, and the Sunbird. When Fatuma finds out the painful truth about her father, how will she protect her friend?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hillary.jpgHillary Namunyu  is a publishing editor in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a reading ambassador with Start-A-Library, an organisation that promotes installation and stocking of libraries with creative books as well as championing reading in primary schools. He occasionally contributes literary commentaries to The Saturday Nation.  

"Wow! Unbelievable! ...I now believe in that saying, that there is a sense of greatness in every person." Hillary exclaimed when he received the news he had been longlisted for the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book.

Teddy Mapesa and the Missing Cash - Teddy is about 12 years old, lives in Nairobi with his parents and goes to a city council school. Like many children, he has a group of friends from different cultures. Some are mischievous, others terribly honest; Teddy is their consciousness. Amidst the challenges of growing up in the city, the desire to perform well in school and appease his parents whilst keeping the company of his friends, he finds himself in the thick of things when his classmate and best friend Muthoni is caught in a tragedy in the hustle and bustle of Nairobi life

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mamle-Wolo.jpgMamle Wolo is a writer of Ghanaian and German parentage, was born in Ghana and educated in both Ghana and the United Kingdom, graduating from the University of Cambridge. She is currently resident in Ghana and works as a consultant in social development issues. In 2011, she won the Burt Award for African Literature in Ghana with her young adult novel ‘The Kaya-Girl.’ She is a co-director of the Writers Project of Ghana and a mother of two.

 "Great news!" Mamle exclaimed when she received the news of  her story being longlisted for the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Book.

Flying through Water  is the story of a boy who escapes from bonded labour in the fishing industry into a great adventure on the Volta Lake. Inspired by his grandfather’s stories, he has learned that his family’s history is bound up with the creation of the lake and the dam. His own adventure reunites and brings back to life the different strands of this history, including the legend of the mysterious creature of the lake, ‘Maame Water.’ This is a story of adventure and of triumph over adversity that is firmly grounded in both historical and present-day realities of Ghana.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bontle_20140917-123900_1.jpgBontle Senne  is a writer, blogger, speaker and literary activist on the board of two education NGOs: Puku Children's Literature Foundation and READ Educational Trust. She is a minority shareholder of publishing house Modjaji Books. In addition to writing for children, Bontle regularly speaks children's literature at international literary festivals and conferences .She wrote her first story at 6 years old: it was about a brother and a sister rabbit who were naughty and wanted to stay up late.

"I am incredibly honored to be on the Golden Baobab longlist. It is certainly the most exciting moment of my life as a writer." Bontle says.

The Monster at Midnight - Phila is stuck in her grandmother's small village for the school holiday. Between bossy big sister Thando and irritating little brother Musa, she's not having a very good holiday. On top of that, there are strange things going on in the village after dark. Things for Phila only get worse when she discovers that there's a monster after her - and he's coming at midnight.

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