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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Zimbabwean writer is Caine winner
Brian Chikwava
Brian Chikwava is the first Zimbabwean to win the prize
Brian Chikwava, a writer and musician from Zimbabwe, has won the fifth annual Caine Prize for African writing.

The Bulawayo-born, now London-based author won for his recent story Seventh Street Alchemy.

"A very strong narrative in which Brian Chikwava of Zimbabwe claims the English language as his own, and English with African characteristics," judges said.

Last year's Prize was awarded to Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor from Kenya, for the story Weight of Whispers.

Chinkwava recently moved to London, where he is working on a novella, and an album of songs inspired by southern African township jazz, ska and blues.

Other writers shortlisted this year were Doreen Baingana (Uganada), Parselelo Kantai (Kenya), Monica Arac de Nyeko (Uganda) and Chika Unigwe (Nigeria).

The Caine Prize was started by the late businessman Sir Michael Caine who ran the Booker prize for many years, and the prize defines an "African writer" as one born on the continent who addresses African issues.

The winner receives a prize of $15,000 (8,300).






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