Zimbabwean poet and filmmaker Zibusiso Mpofu has won the title of Brunel International African Poetry 2022 Award.
Mpofu was announced as the winner among finalists which included Conor Kogil from South Africa, Asmaa Jama and Edil Hassan from Somalia, Fahad Al-Amoudi from Ethiopia and Adedayo Agarau and Chisom Okafor from Nigeria.
The award goes to a Zimbabwean for the first time, ahead of all-time favorites Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt and Somalia.
The jury was reportedly unanimous in its choice, awarding an honorable mention to the Somali poet Asmaa Jama, who was among the finalists.
Booker Prize-winning Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo and Brunel University established the Poetry Prize and have used it since 2012 to highlight and publicize the names of talented and emerging African poets.
The inaugural Warsan Shire award winner was elected to the Royal Society of Literature and collaborated with ‘The Queen B’ – Beyoncé on her Grammy-winning album Lemonade.
In praising the judges, the judges said Mpofu’s work was “superbly done, the poems moving in unexpected directions, balancing raw realism and almost mystical understatement”.