Mustapha Enesi has won the 2021 K & L Prize for his short story, Kesandu.
The short story, along with all stories on the 2021 longlist from writers resident in Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, and the Gambia, will appear in Fullmoon, a K & L anthology, which would be published in 2022 by Griots Lounge, New Zealand. This year’s theme was on Madness.
The other shortlisted writers for the prize include Inimfon Inyang, Ntui Vincent Mbey, Chikondi Tembo, Joseph Olamide Babalola, and Chinecherem Udo.
The 2021 K & L Prize judges are Myles Ojabo, Su’ur Agema, and Sisca Julius.
About Mustapha Enesi:
Mustapha Enesi is Ebira and lives in Lagos, Nigeria. His works have been published in The Maine Review, Kalahari Review, Eboquills, The Story Tree Challenge Maiden Anthology, and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the 2021 Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize, and his flash fiction piece ‘Shoes’ was highly commended in Litro Magazine’s 2021 Summer Flash Fiction Contest.
‘Writing gives me strength, and the K & L Prize validates this strength,’ Mustapha Enesi recounts. The writer says that he uses his writing to connect with characters who do not experience this world’s luxury. ‘…women, people who linger on the spectrum of sexual identity, the poor, and children in problematic homes. Kesandu, like my other stories, houses these characters and their experiences.’
The writer, who does not believe in happy endings, further recounts, ‘People say that there are happy endings, that stories should have happy endings. But in reality, people go through one obstacle after another. It’s a loop. There are rarely happy endings for the oppressed.’
About the K & L Prize:
The K & L Prize is sponsored by Myles Ojabo and is worth $1000 in cash prize. It is open to African writers who are between the ages of 18 and 25.
In 2019, South Africa’s Sisca Julius won the prize for her story, Honey Bee. Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, a Nigerian, won the 2020 edition for his afrofuturist story, Abija: The Architect of Mayhem.