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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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