3rd Place

Timothy Kiprop Kimutai, The Water Spirits


Chair of Judges, Jamal Mahjoub said:

In 3rd place, Timothy Kiprop Kimutai’s The Water Spirits shows great maturity in its depiction of characters and the relationships between a single mother and her two children. The author deftly manages to tread a fine line between the state of the mind and the world of the imagination.”

Judge, Professor Simon Gikandi said:

The portrait of a rural community trying to make its way through the knots of a changing world are memorable. I liked the complex relationships between the characters, the constant probing of their memories and desires, and the way they develop.”

Timothy Kiprop Kimutai is 27 years old and interested in finding an audience for his stories. He participates in creative writing workshops with Amka Space, a writing forum provided by the Goethe Institute in Nairobi.

Synopsis Kogi sees an alternate world when his mother points a knife at her chest ready to plunge it in. He finds a girl lying unconscious by the river, carries her home and lets her live in their chicken house - all the while thinking that she is a water spirit. He dreams of bringing back rare chicken breeds from the brink of extinction. The Water Spirits places the mysterious alongside the quotidian, exploring Kogi’s relationships with the water spirit, his newly-widowed mother Susanna and sister Chebet, and the pains of feeling powerless.

Interview with Timothy Kiprop Kimutai

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