The story of Kintu begins in 2004, in Bwaise a slum in Kampala city prone to flooding in the rainy season. Kintu Kamu has just been murdered, mistakenly called a thief because of the unexplained appearance of fancy gadgets in his shack. Three months later, the people involved in his murder are all found dead, strewn all over the streets of Bwaise.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist, short story writer, and poet. In 2014, Makumbi won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly. Her doctoral novel, The Kintu Saga, won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 and was published in 2014 under the title Kintu. In this interview with Africa Book Club, she talks about the importance of Africa traditions in writing and what it takes to be a successful writer.
The shortlist for the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is out, and three writers from Africa are in the running for this year’s award. Adelehin Ijasan from Nigeria, Michelle Sacks from South Africa, and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi from Uganda made the shortlist joining 16 other writers.
Uganda’s Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi has won the 2013 Kwani? Manuscript Project, a new literary prize for unpublished fiction by African writers, for her novel The Kintu Saga. Liberia’s Saah Millimono came second for One Day I Will Write About This War with Kenya’s Timothy Kiprop Kimutai in third place for The Water Spirits.