Meet the Sahifa Family
Khadija is a Kenyan writer of Hadhrami descent. She is the 2018 winner of the inaugural Graywolf Press Africa Prize for a first novel manuscript titled ‘The House of Rust’. ‘The House of Rust’ is the story of a young Mombasa-born girl who goes to the sea to search for her fisherman father, accompanied by a scholar’s cat. It blends the folk stories of post-independence Mombasa with a coming of age tale as her protagonist faces monsters ahead and the demons of her past. The Graywolf Africa prize is awarded for a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing in Africa. Khadija’s work has also been published at Brainstorm Kenya, Enkare Review, Lolwe, Down River Road, and A Long House among others. Khadija lives in Mombasa.
Sophie is the founder of the cultural initiative Deyu African,
publishing new writing from across the continent and collecting folk tales from Northern Uganda. She has worked as a correspondent for The East African, AfricanColours, and the Global Press Institute, and her writing has also been published by The African Writers Trust, Kalahari Review and Lawino Magazine, amongst others. In 2010, she won the Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award for her poem ‘Making Modern Love’. Sophie studied law at Makerere University. She also won a scholarship to study Peace Research at the University of Oslo International Summer School. Sophie has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh. She was born and raised in Uganda.
Lydia is a Tanzanian writer, poet and media director among other things. Her first collection of poetry Paper Dolls was published in 2016 by the African Poetry Book Fund in their chapbook collection, New Generation African Poets: Tatu. Her poem, ‘Things That Were Lost In Our Vaginas’, was shortlisted by the BNPA poetry prize in 2014 and her short story ‘Inside Outside’ was long listed by Writivism in the same year. In 2017, her short story, ‘My Mother’s Project’ was published in the Caine Prize 2017 Anthology, The Goddess of Mtwara. In 2018 her poem ‘Silver Spoons’, was published in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. Lydia is the Co-Director of Paza Sauti Youth Festival based in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. She currently lives in Zanzibar.
Ngala is an award-winning writer, historian and social scientist. He was born and raised in Mombasa, and his work examines the modern history of the Kenyan coast. In 2013-14, Ngala was the Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with a distinction in the MSc in African Studies. Ngala’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as African Affairs, Critical African Studies, Afrique Contemporine amongst others. His op-ed and non-fiction work has appeared on The Elephant, Kenya’s the Standard, Foreign Policy, the New African magazine, Enkare Review, and the Chimurenga Chronic. Ngala has held various editorial posts: he has been guest-editor at the Journal of Eastern African Studies and Associate Editor at Kwani? In 2020, Ngala was announced the winner of the 2018-2019 African Affairs African Author prize. He will graduate with a PhD in African History from Durham University in the U.K in 2021.