Caine Prize quote


Below is a full list of The Caine Prize Council Members:

Alicia Adams - Trustee

Alicia B. Adams is Vice President of International Programming and Dance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has curated and produced the Center’s festivals celebrating the arts and culture of India, the Arab world, Japan, and China, and also curates the Contemporary Dance and Etcetera series. Previously, she has worked for institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Belafonte Enterprises, Inc.; City Center Theater; Harlem School of the Arts; and International Production Associates.

Dr Ike Anya

Ike Anya is a Nigerian writer & public health doctor. He has worked as a consultant in public health medicine in London since 2008. Co-founder of the Abuja Literary Society & contributing editor to Farafina magazine, he co-edited the Weaverbird Collection of Nigerian Fiction (Farafina, 2008). His writing has been published in the US, the UK, Nigeria and India. People Don’t Get Depressed in Nigeria, an extract from a memoir in progress, was published in Granta in 2012. Co-editor of Nigeria Health Watch ( & co-founder of the TEDxEuston event (, he is a TEDGlobal Africa Fellow (2007) and was Board Member of the UK Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board 2006-10 and Knightstone Housing Association 2004-7. A Trustee of the Public Health Foundation of Nigeria he is a consultant to EpiAfric, a public health consulting research and training outfit based in Nigeria.

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE – Deputy Chairperson

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is the former deputy editor of Granta magazine and began her career at Penguin before joining Jonathan Cape, Random House where she was senior editor. She currently works as a book critic, editor and broadcaster. A regular contributor to NPR, her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer and the Telegraph. She is series editor for the Kwani? Manuscript Prize and sits on the board of the Writers' Centre Norwich and the arts selection panel for the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Centre. She is a patron of the Etisalat Literature Prize. She has served on numerous judging panels including the David Cohen Prize, the Caine Prize for African Writing, in 2010 and 2011, and the BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature. Her introduction to Woman of the Aeroplanes by Kojo Laing (Pearson, African Writers Series) was published in 2012. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Allfrey was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to the publishing industry. Ellah was appointed Deputy Chair of the Caine Prize in 2012.

Dr Lizzy Attree - Director

Lizzy Attree has a PhD from SOAS, University of London on "The Literary Responses to HIV and AIDS from South Africa and Zimbabwe from 1990-2005”. Her collection of interviews with the first African writers to write about HIV and AIDS from Zimbabwe and South Africa was published in 2010 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, and is entitled Blood on the Page. In 2010 she was a Visiting Lecturer in the English Department at Rhodes University in South Africa and from 2002-2009 she organised literary tours of African writers in the UK funded by Arts Council England such as the Caine Prize 10th Anniversary Tour in 2009. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Writivism, an initiative of the Centre for African Cultural Excellence. She was appointed Administrator of the Caine Prize in 2011 and was made Director in 2014.

William Boyd

William Boyd is the author of eleven novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Literary Award (now known as the Costa Book Awards) and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection. He served as a judge in 2000.

Margaret Busby, OBE

Margaret Busby, OBE, was born in Ghana and educated in Britain. She was co-founder and editorial director of the London-based publishing company Allison & Busby Limited, and later editorial director of Earthscan Publications. For the past twenty years she has worked independently as a writer, editor, critic, consultant and broadcaster. She has been a judge for several literary awards and a participant in various cultural events and conferences internationally in the fields of literature, art, music and theatre. She edited the pioneering volume Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writing by Women of African Descent (1992), has contributed to many publications and has written drama for BBC radio and the stage. She is a Prize Ambassador for the SI Leeds Literary Prize. She served as a judge in 2002.

Chief Emeka Anyaoku

Emeka Anyaoku CFR, GCVO, TC was Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1990 to 2000 having twice been elected to the post by Commonwealth Heads of Government. In 1983 he served as Nigeria's Foreign Minister. Following his retirement from Commonwealth service, he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the LSE (2001-2002) and the International President of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) (2001 to 2009). He is currently a Trustee of the British Museum (UK), and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs (Nigeria). He received the Freedom of the City of London in 1998 and holds 30 honorary doctorate degrees from Universities in eight different countries.

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is an art historian and broadcaster, currently holding the position of Research Associate at SOAS. After completing his PhD in African history, Gus proceeded to teach a number of degree and MA courses in international culture. In addition to his responsibilities at SOAS, Gus is a consultant to the Kings Cultural Institute, a member of Tate Britain Council and a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. He has presented in television and radio and written widely on African culture. His second Lost Kingdoms of Africa series was broadcast on the BBC in early 2012. Gus was the director of Africa05 and has advised high-profile institutions such as the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils and the Tate Gallery. He served as Chair of the Judges in 2013.

Professor J. M. Coetzee

John Coetzee, born in South Africa, now an Australian resident, is a writer and academic. Coetzee won the Booker Prize in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and again in 1999 for Disgrace.  His novels include Waiting for the Barbarians(awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1980) and The Master of Petersburg (awarded the Irish Times International Fiction Prize in 1995).  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.  He served as a judge in 2001.

Laurence Cockcroft - Trustee

A development economist by profession Laurence Cockcroft has worked for the governments of Tanzania and Zambia, and international organisations including the UN, FAO, World Bank, Booker McConnell and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. He was a founder member of the international Board of Transparency International and has served on the Board of TI (UK) since 1994. He was Chairman from 2002-8.

In his work with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation he has helped launch and develop initiatives in R&D of improved crop varieties. He also pioneered the establishment of four Trusts in east Africa and Cameroon devoted to women’s microfinance. Laurence has also authored two books; his most recent, Global Corruption: Money, Power and Ethics in the Modern Age – was published by I. B. Tauris in 2012.

Professor Jon Cook

Jon Cook is Chair of Arts Council England East. He is a Professor of Literature and Director of the Centre of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of East Anglia, where he was also Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities between 2004-2010. The focus of his teaching and research is in romantic and modern literature. His publications include Poetry in Theory (2004) and a biography, Hazlitt in Love (2007) and he has written a number of essays on language and creativity. He has recently been a judge for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and is a member of the international academy for the Folio Prize. He has played an active role in the foundation and development of Writers Centre Norwich and is a course director on the UEA/Guardian Masterclasses project. He served as a judge for the Caine Prize in 2009 and 2010.

Jason Cowley

Jason Cowley is a journalist, magazine editor and writer. He became editor of the New Statesman in October 2008. Before that, he was editor of Granta magazine and of the award-winning Observer Sport Monthly, and a staff writer on the Times. He is the author of a novel, Unknown Pleasures (Faber & Faber, 2000), and his second book, a memoir called The Last Game: Love, Death and Football, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2009. In 2009 and 2011 he was voted editor of the year, current affairs and newspaper magazines, in the British Society of Magazine Editors’ awards. He served as a judge in 2001 and 2002.

James Currey

James Currey started his career working for the Oxford University Press. Later he worked for Heinemann where he established their academic list on Africa and added 250 titles to the African Writers Series. Africa Writes Back (2008) is his account of the importance of the Series in the establishment of African literature. In 1984 he and his wife Clare established James Currey Publishers which took a leading position in publishing African studies, and still does as an imprint of Boydell and Brewer. He has received awards from the Canadian Association of African Studies (1988), the African Studies Association of the United States (2000), and the African Literature Association of the United States (2008). ASAUK chose him as the Distinguished Africanist of 2009.

The Rt Hon the Lord Dholakia, OBE, DL, PC

Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, Lord Dholakia was formerly President of the party. Prior to his career in government, he worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and the Police Complaints Authority. He is patron of a large number of charities with a passion for photography, travel and cooking.

Jonty Driver

C.J. (“Jonty”) Driver is a poet, novelist and essayist. For many years a teacher – in Africa, Hong Kong and England, he was Principal of Island School, Hong Kong (1978-83), Headmaster of Berkhamsted (1983-9) and Master of Wellington College (1989-2000). He is now a full-time writer, travelling regularly to his country of birth and upbringing, South Africa. He was held in solitary confinement by the South African Police in 1964 and his first two novels were banned in South Africa. He is an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at UEA. Jonty has previously held residencies at the Liguria Study Centre in Bogliasco, at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and at the International writers’ retreat in Hawthornden, Scotland. He served as a judge in 2007 and 2008.

Nick Elam

Nick Elam served in HM Diplomatic Service from 1962 until 1999. In 1964 he was posted to South Africa for four years. He also served in Zimbabwe from 1979 until 1983 and was later Head of Cultural Relations in the Foreign Office (1987-1994). Nick was Administrator of the Caine Prize from its inception in 1999 through to 2011.

Buchi Emecheta

Buchi Emecheta is a Nigerian author who has received great acclaim for her work both in the UK and Nigeria, writing nineteen novels since 1972. Her first book, In The Ditch details her experience as a poor, single parent in London. It was followed by Second-Class Citizen, The Bride Price, The Slave Girl, which was awarded the Jock Campbell Award, The Joys of Motherhood, Destination Biafra, Naira Power, Double Yoke, Gwendolen, The Rape of Shavi and Kehinde, as well as a number of children's books and a play, A Kind of Marriage produced on BBC television. Her autobiography, Head Above Water, appeared in 1986 to much acclaim. She served as a judge in 2001.

Bernadine Evaristo, MBE

Anglo-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction, two of which have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. A literary critic for the newspapers and editor of several anthologies, she has judged many literary awards and in 2012 was Chair of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the Caine Prize for African Fiction and she founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Her books have been a Book of the Year twelve times in British newspapers and her awards include the Orange Youth Panel Award, EMMA Best Book, Big Red Read, NESTA Fellowship and Arts Council Writers Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts. Her latest novel Mr Loverman, is about a 74 yr old Caribbean London man who is a closet homosexual (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, 2013). She served as Chair of Judges in 2012.

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna's most recent novel The Memory of Love was selected as one of the Best Books of the 2010 by the Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times and The Times and has been shortlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. Her previous novel Ancestor Stones won the Hurston Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction, the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, the Liberaturpreis in Germany and was nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC Award. The Devil that Danced on the Water, a memoir of her dissident father was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and serialised on BBC Radio. Aminatta is a trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and has previously acted as judge for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Macmillan Prize. She served as a judge in 2006 and 2011.

Adam Freudenheim

Adam was born and raised in the United States but has lived in the UK since 1997. He has worked in publishing for fifteen years, including at Granta Books, at Yale University Press (London) and at Penguin Books where he was Publishing Director of Penguin Classics and Reference from 2004-2012. He is perhaps best known for helping rediscover the work of German writer Hans Fallada, with the first English-language publication of Alone in Berlin. Adam is currently Publisher and Managing Director of Pushkin Press, which focuses on bringing the best stories from around the world to British and American readers. Adam has been a trustee of the London Library since 2009 and is an executive committee member and trustee of the Leo Baeck Institute (London) and a member of the Athenaeum.

Tom Gaffney

Tom Gaffney is a director and an advisor to a number of private natural resources companies. Until early 2011 he was Chief Executive of Ambrian Capital plc which he founded in 2001 and built into London’s leading investment bank in the mid and small-cap natural resources sector with a particular focus on exploration, development and production of metals, minerals and oil & gas in Africa. Prior to founding Ambrian, Tom was a director of JP Morgan’s Metals & Mining Team and before that was a director of Robert Fleming & Co Limited, the British merchant banking firm. Tom has an MBA from the Manchester Business School and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Sussex. He is resident in the UK and is a dual US/ UK citizen.

Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar, lectures at the University of Kent and is best-known as a novelist. His fourth novel Paradise was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1994. His latest novel is Desertion. His main academic interest is in postcolonial writing and in discourses associated with colonialism, especially as they relate to Africa, the Caribbean and India. He has edited two volumes of Essays on African Writing, has published articles on a number of contemporary postcolonial writers, including Soyinka, Naipaul and Rushdie. He has recently edited A Companion to Salman Rushdie (Cambridge University Press 2007). He served as a judge in 2002 and was the chair of judges in 2003.

Dotti Irving

Dotti Irving set up Colman Getty in 1987, after a decade at Penguin Books. She has been instrumental in profile development of clients including Harry Potter author JK Rowling, domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, and Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of the AGR. With an extensive contacts base that spans arts, culture, business and the media, she also handles high-level sponsorship and partnership deals on behalf of Colman Getty's clients.

Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley

Delia Jarrett-Macauley is an accomplished writer, academic and broadcaster with a career spanning over 20 years. She has published three books, the most recent being her first novel Moses, Citizen and Me, which received the 2005 Orwell Prize for political writing.

A multi-disciplinary scholar in history, literature and cultural politics, Delia is currently a fellow in English at the University of Warwick. She was previously a visiting fellow in Gender Studies at the LSE. Delia has contributed to a number of academic publications as author and board member including Feminist Review, Women's History Review, Journal of Gender Studies and Gender and History and has worked on a number of broadcasting projects for BBC Radio. She also voiced 'Warrior Marks', Alice Walker's documentary film on female circumcision shown on UK television.

Delia has worked extensively in the cultural sector, including a period as Director of the Independent Theatre Council, and later as a consultant to Arts Council England. She also managed the pan-African dance summer school and co-ordinated educational projects for African Players. With more than twenty years' experience of leading change management projects across all sectors, she has provided guidance for senior managers and human resource specialists including Sainsbury's Supermarkets, Shell (UK), NSPCC and local government agencies. She served as a judge in 2007.

Mary Jay

Mary Jay has been CEO of African Books Collective since 1996, and has been with the organisation since it was founded in 1989. She is a Trustee of the International African Institute and was previously deputy to the publisher at Hans Zell Publishers, and Deputy Editor of The African Book Publishing Record.

Angeline Kamba

Angeline Kamba is a Zimbabwean national. She holds a BA degree (University of South Africa), a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (University of London) and a Masters in Library Science (Columbia University, N.Y.) She was also awarded an Hon PhD in Archaeology, Cultural Heritage & Museum Studies Honoris Causa by the Midlands State University – Faculty of Arts.

Angeline has served on the UNESCO Director General’s Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme and later on the World Commission on Culture and Development (WCCD). She also held the position of Director of the National Archives of Zimbabwe for ten years, and Vice president of the International Council on Archives (ICA). She has served as Chairman of a number of national and international Boards, most recently of the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA).

Joel Kibazo

Joel Kibazo is a public affairs and communications consultant who has worked as a journalist for the Financial Times, reporting on Africa's business and financial sector and presented programmes for the BBC and other international broadcasters. He was formerly Director of Communications and Public Affairs, and Spokesman, at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He holds a BA in Social Sciences, an MA in International Business and Economic Development and an MBA in International Business and Marketing. He is the founder and CEO of JK Associates, a public affairs and communications consultancy offering specialized services in Africa. He is currently Communications Director at the African Development Bank.

Hon Robert Loder, CBE

Robert Loder is a businessman and art collector who has been particularly concerned in developing contemporary African art. He is the co-founder of the Triangle Network.


While he worked for Anglo American in Johannesburg he helped run Union Artists, a black theatre group that played to mixed audiences in apartheid South Africa.


In 1959 he founded the African Arts Trust, which supports black artists from South Africa. He was treasurer and then Chair of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the 1970s and he was a Trustee and for Chair of the Mental Health Foundation, for which service he was awarded the CBE. In 1982, he became executive chairman of the literary agency Curtis Brown.


He developed the idea of running workshops for professional artists with Anthony Caro, and set up the Triangle Arts Trust. The first Triangle workshop was held in 1982 for thirty sculptors and painters from the USA, UK and Canada at Pine Plains, New York. The workshops became an annual event, and Loder later helped organise similar workshops in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Jamaica and Namibia.

Jamal Mahjoub

Jamal Mahjoub was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2005. His novels have been widely translated. Travelling with Djinns was awarded the Prix de l'Astrolabe at the St Malo festival in France; Carrer Princesa gained the NH Mario Vargas Llosa prize in Spain. He also won the Guardian/Heinemann African short story award for The Cartographer's Angel. He has recently started a new life in Crime under the pseudonym Parker Bilal. He served as chair of the judges in 2007.

Robin Malan

Robin Malan has spent all of his working life in education and in theatre. He is known for his numerous anthologies for schools, and for his comic guide to South African English, Ah Big Yaws? He was the artistic director of two theatre-in-education companies in the 1970s. He taught in Swaziland for 15 years, and also ran a specialist bookshop in Mbabane. He volunteers for Triangle Project, the LGBTI human rights organisation. His novels include Rebel Angel, The Story of Lucky Simelane, The Sound of New Wings and My 'Funny' Brother. He was series editor of the Siyagruva Series of teen novels; and is the editor of English Alive, the annual anthology of high school writing. His independent Junkets Publisher won the 2009 Arts & Culture Excellence Award for Literature. He sits on the boards of the Cape 300 Foundation, the Arts & Culture Trust, and the Caine Prize for African Writing.

Hisham Matar

Hisham Matar is a Libyan novelist. His first novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize, the Guardian First Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US. It won six international literary awards and has been translated into twenty-eight languages. Matar's articles and essays have appeared in Alsharq Alawsat, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, El Pais and the New Statesman. His second novel Anatomy of a Disappearance was published in 2011 by Viking. He served as a judge in 2008 and was the chair of judges in 2011.

Nana Yaa Mensah

Nana Yaa Mensah is chief sub-editor of the New Statesman, the leading left-wing magazine and previously worked as senior sub-editor of The Voice. She was chair of the Caine Prize judges in the tenth anniversary year of the award, 2009.

Robert Molteno

Born in Cape Town, Robert Molteno was heavily involved in the student struggle against apartheid in the early 1960s. He taught at the University of Zambia from 1967-76. In London, Robert was Managing Editor of Zed Books for 27 years. Zed prioritized publishing the work of African and other developing country public intellectuals, and developing collaborative relationships with publishing houses in the global South.

Dr Mpalive Msiska

Mpalive Msiska, a Malawian academic, is a Reader in English and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London, with research and teaching interests in Critical and Cultural Theory as well as Postcolonial Literatures, including African literature. He is author of Post-colonial Identity in Wole Soyinka (2007), Wole Soyinka (1998) and co-author of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (2007) and The Quiet Chameleon: A Study of Modern Poetry from Central Africa (1992) and co-editor of Writing and Africa (1997). He served as a judge in 2006.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne – President

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne was ennobled and took her seat as a member of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom Parliament in 1997, having also served as a Member of the House of Commons and, subsequently, in the European Parliament. She is a member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Security and Defence Assembly. She chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Foreign Affairs; and for Economic Development in Iraq & the Region. She is Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Human Trafficking; for EU Enlargement; and for Georgia; and remains an active participant in a large number of these Groups. Baronness Nicholson was married to Sir Michael Caine and established the Caine Prize in his memory in 1999.

John Niepold - Trustee

John Niepold has more than 20 years of experience in frontier investing in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He is a founder and Managing Partner of SQM Frontier Management, LP, a frontier market investment company focused on Africa and the Middle East. At SQM, Mr Niepold is the Portfolio Manager for all the firm’s African portfolios. Prior to launching SQM, Mr. Niepold spent 15 years as a Portfolio Manager for Africa and the Middle East at Emerging Markets Management LLC. He has a B.A. in economics from Davidson College and an M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill in the United States.

Alastair Niven

Alastair Niven became Principal of Cumberland Lodge early in 2001. Prior to this he had been Director of Literature at the British Council for four years. He has held several public positions, including being Director of Literature at the Arts Council of Great Britain (latterly The Arts Council of England) for ten years and Director General of The Africa Centre from 1978 to 1984. Alastair began his career as an academic, with positions at the Universities of Ghana (where he had been a Commonwealth Scholar), Leeds and Stirling. He had been a Visiting Professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and has held honorary positions at the Universities of Exeter, Warwick and London. He is the author of four books and over fifty articles on aspects of Commonwealth and post-colonial literature, and has also written extensively about the welfare of overseas students. A judge of the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1994, he was also President of English PEN from 2003 to 2007. He was a founder member of the Home Office Arts in Prison Committee and is Chairman of the local branch of the Workers Education Association.

Ben Okri, OBE – Vice President

Poet and novelist Ben Okri read Comparative Literature at Essex University. He was poetry editor for West Africa magazine between 1983 and 1986 and broadcast regularly for the BBC World Service between 1983 and 1985. He was appointed Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College Cambridge in 1991 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1987.

His first two novels, Flowers and Shadows (1980) and The Landscapes Within (1981), were followed by two collections of stories, Incidents at the Shrine (1986) and Stars of the New Curfew (1988). In 1991 Okri was awarded the Booker Prize for The Famished Road. Other novels include Songs of Enchantment (1993), Infinite Riches (1998), Astonishing the Gods (1995) and Dangerous Love (1996), which was awarded the Premio Palmi (Italy) in 2000. His latest novels are In Arcadia (2002) and Starbook (2007). A collection of poems, An African Elegy, was published in 1992, and an epic poem, Mental Flight, in 1999. A collection of essays, A Way of Being Free, was published in 1997. Ben Okri is also the author of a play, In Exilus. In his latest book, Tales of Freedom (2009), Okri brings together poetry and story.

Ben Okri is Vice-President of the English Centre of International PEN, a member of the board of the Royal National Theatre, and was awarded an OBE in 2001. He served as the first chair of the judges in 2000 and was appointed Vice President in 2012.

Nii Parkes

Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer, editor, socio-cultural commentator and performance poet. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck (University of London) and serves on the boards of the Poetry Book Society and the Arvon Foundation. A 2007 recipient of Ghana’s national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy, Nii is the author of the acclaimed hybrid literary novel, Tail of the Blue Bird, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize. His latest books of poetry are the Michael Marks Award-shortlisted pamphlet, Ballast: a remix (2009), described in the Guardian as, “An astonishing, powerful remix of history and language” and The Makings of You (Peepal Tree Press).

Marie Philip

Marie Philip was born in South Africa and studied at the University of Cape Town. In 1971 she co-founded David Philip Publishers – an independent and oppositional publishers – with her husband, during the apartheid years. She received an Hon. D. Lits from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and The University of the Western Cape (UWC).

Hannah Pool

Hannah Pool works as a columnist for The Guardian. Her book titled My Fathers’ Daughter: A story of Family and Belonging tells the story of her search for her origins in Eritrea. Hannah Pool is best known for her column "The New Black". She served as a judge in 2008 and 2009.

Edward Robinson - Trustee

Edward Robinson is a former director of Booker plc. He worked in Nigeria and Kenya in the 1960`s and subsequently travelled extensively throughout Africa on business. He retains a deep interest in the continent`s economic development and cultural diversity and has been a member of the Caine Prize Council since its inception.

Fiammetta Rocco

Fiammetta Rocco is a third-generation Kenyan. She was educated at Oxford University where she read Arabic. Her investigative journalism has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic. She is now the literary editor of The Economist and the author of The Miraculous Fever Tree: The Cure that Changed the World. She chaired the judging panel in 2010.

David Suratgar

Chairman of BMCE Bank International plc and Advisory Board of Taylor-DeJongh Inc., David Suratgar has more than 40 years of project finance experience. He is a former vice-chairman of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and member of the Board of BMCE Bank and senior advisor to the Chairman. He serves as chairman of Masawara plc and of Fortune Funds Ltd. and Director, Global Alumina Inc., and of Taylor-DeJongh (Bermuda).

Mr. Suratgar holds an MA (Law) from Oxford University, a Master of International Affairs and a Certificate in International and Comparative Law from Columbia University and from The Hague Academy of International Law. He did the AMP (Corporate Finance) at Harvard Business School and has worked as a special legal advisor to the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Bank of England.

Véronique Tadjo

Véronique Tadjo is an academic, writer and artist from Côte d’Ivoire. Most of her work is in French but has been widely translated into English and several other languages. She is currently based in Johannesburg where she is a professor and head of French Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She served as a judge in 2000 and 2001.

Jonathan Taylor, CBE – Chairman

Jonathan Taylor was a member of the SOAS Governing Body for 17 years, from 1988 to 2005, and served as its Chairman for the last six of those years. He remains a fellow of SOAS. A graduate and Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Mr Taylor joined Booker plc in 1959 and was its chief executive from 1984 to 1993, and thereafter Chairman until 1998. Since 2001 he has been chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation, which awards the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious literary honour. He is chair of the trustees of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

As an Anglican priest Desmond Mpilo Tutu became a national and international figure in his campaign against apartheid in South Africa, which earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. He was enthroned as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986 and chaired South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the establishment of a democratically elected government. Archbishop Tutu has held several distinguished academic and world leadership positions and has received numerous prizes, awards and honorary degrees. As Chairman of The Elders he remains active in his quest for peace and dignity.

Vicky Unwin

Vicky Unwin was born in Tanzania and has had a life-long career in African publishing and mainstream media. Highlights include being Editor of the African Writers Series for eight years and Media Director for the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, where she oversaw the Nation Media Group’s coverage of the Kenyan post-election violence. Following the death of her 21 year-old daughter in 2010, she has become a trustee of the Angelus Foundation, a charity devoted to raising awareness amongst young people and parents of the dangers of legal highs and club drugs. She is also Chairman of Art First, a London Gallery, and on the Advisory Board of Post Conflict People.

Dr Wangui wa Goro

Dr Wangui wa Goro has served as a public intellectual, translator, editor, writer, social and cultural catalyst and advocate, academic, researcher and campaigner for human and cultural rights in Africa, Europe and the USA in public, private and voluntary capacities over the last thirty years. Her main interest is in the promotion of literary translation and scholarship. She is the translator of award-winning authors between French, English and Gikuyu including the Nobel Prize nominee Ngugi wa Thiong’o through whose work, Matigari, and Veronique Tadjo's As the Crow Flies she broke new ground for a new generation of African translators.

Wangui wa Goro is a writer in her own right, and writes poetry, essays, short stories, fiction and non-fiction. Her first short story, "Heaven and Earth" (Macmillan) has been taught on the Kenyan curriculum. Another, "Deep Sea Fishing", is included in the award-winning anthology African Love Stories (Ayebia). Her book Global Feminist Politics, Identities in a Changing World, co-edited with Kelly Coate and Suki Ali and published by Routledge in 2001, has been significant in shaping debates about human rights, identity and location.

Wangui was a member of the jury of the much debated Africa's 100 best books of the twentieth Century, and served as a judge for the Caine prize in 2007. She is currently serving on the jury of the Golden Rhino Mapungubwe Film Festival and is an Honorary Patron of African Century Literary Arts and Orature Celebration Conversations.

Claire Whitaker - Trustee

Claire Whitaker is the Director of Serious, an award winning producer of live music, tours and special events. Claire has produced events in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Swaziland and Barbados. While acting as Director of Africa ’95 she helped found Business Arts South Africa (BASA) and continues to produce work from across Africa. In 2012 Claire is producing BT River of Music featuring all 205 Olympic and Paralympic nations’ music with the Africa stage being held at Jubilee Gardens.

Claire is Deputy Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Arts Advisor for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, a Fellow of the Marketing Society and founder of its Young Marketer of the Year Award. In 2009, Claire completed an MA in Cultural Leadership (City University) and was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s Women to Watch in 2010.

Professor Nana Wilson-Tagoe

Nana Wilson-Tagoe is a Visiting Professor of Black Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, US. She has taught African and African Diaspora literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and at universities in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. She has published Historical Thought and Literary Representation in West Indian Literature and A Readers’ Guide to West Indian and Black British Literature. She has co- edited Gender, Sexuality and Health in Cross-cultural Perspectives and has forthcoming books on Ama Ata Aidoo and Yvonne Vera. She has been judge and chair of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Macmillan Prize for African Writing. She served as a judge from 2003 until 2006.

Edwin Wulfsohn

Edwin Wulfsohn is Deputy Chairman of Stenham Limited (a trust, property and hedge funds company); he previously served as Chairman of the organisation. Edwin is also the Chairman of Trans Zambezi Industries Limited – a listed sub Saharan investment group which he co-founded. He has banking experience at Chase Manhattan Bank, New York and Standard Chartered and holds a BA from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from Columbia Business School, New York.

Edwin is a Trustee of the Contemporary Art Society, Trustee and Chairman of Investment Committee of Chelsea & Westminster Health Charity, member of the African Arts Committee, Tate and Founder of Mosi-o-Tunva Art Trust.