Kenyan writer Makena Onjerika has been named the recipient of the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing for a short story called “Fanta Blackcurrant.”
The story of Meri, a street child in Onjerika’s home city of Nairobi, follows the child’s challenging life journey while shaped by her all-encompassing passion for the beverage that is the story’s name.
“The winner of this year’s Caine Prize is as fierce as they come – a narrative forged but not defined by the streets of Nairobi, a story that stands as more than just witness,” said Dinaw Mengestu, the Ethiopian-American writer serving as chairman of the judging panel. “Makena Onjerika’s ‘Fanta Blackcurrant’ presides over a grammar and architecture of its own making, one that eschews any trace of sentimentality in favor of a narrative that is haunting in its humor, sorrow and intimacy.”
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