(www.kwani.org) is a literary journal founded by some of Kenya's most
exciting new writers to provide to the Kenyan reading public with writing
of the highest quality. The Kwani? web journal has been in existence for
close to a year now, funded by voluntary contributions by members.
Over the last twenty years, the rest of the world has viewed Kenya as
a country that ceased to produce quality writing. However, the last two
years have seen Kenyans winning the prestigious Caine Prize for African
Writing. Also referred to as “The African Booker”, The Caine
Prize offers the winner $ 15 000 and access to the best agents and publishers
the United Kingdom has to offer. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, a writer who was
first published in the online edition of Kwani? won the 2003 prize.
Kwani? founding editor, Binyavanga Wainaina, won the Caine Prize in 2002.
This was the first time any Kenyan had won the prestigious prize. Kenya
attained yet another “first” this year when for the first
time, an African country won the prize two years in a row, thanks to Yvonne.
Our humble nation beat submissions from all over Africa and the entire
We believe that Kenya is presently producing world-class writers, and
we intend to prove it with our very first hard-copy edition, set to be
in the shelves at the end of September 2003. It is Kwani?’s objective
to get Kenyans reading quality writing again. Our many thanks go to the
Ford Foundation for helping us fund this project.
This first print edition of Kwani? Journal will showcase some incredibly
talented new writers: