Since the Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award was launched in 2020, we have had an amazing response from so many generous supporters, including the 200 contributors to the literary anthology who donated their fees. This enabled us to provide a full scholarship to Idza Luhumyo (MA Comparative Literature 2021). Idza came to SOAS from Nairobi and had an amazing year at the School, which culminated in winning the Short Story Day Africa Prize 2021. Idza’s short story, titled Five Years Next Sunday was published as part of the anthology Disruption: New Short Fiction from Africa in September 2021.
Continued support from donors led us to reach our previous funding target of £20,000 which is fantastic. This means we are now able to offer a new scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year so that another talented African female writer can benefit from the experience of being a part of the SOAS community.
Our mission remains the same; to support a new generation of African female writers create a lasting legacy in Margaret’s name. We are now excited to launch a new campaign to provide funding for more talented students in years to come. If you would like to be a part of our mission, you can contribute to this fund and you will be helping us to provide financial support to more deserving students.
Idza Luhumyo’s reflections on her MA in Comparative Literature at SOAS, 2020-21
I was keen on taking my career to the next level. I was just venturing out on a career in cultural work and somehow understood that in an increasingly connected world, an MA degree in Comparative Literature would be something worth pursuing. This degree would not only allow me to build on my interdisciplinary background, but allow me to think deeply and critically about the function of stories, and culture, in the world.
Studying at SOAS has been nothing short of a wonderful experience. Even with the constraints brought about by the pandemic, I was able to take advantage of the resources the institution offers. In particular, I remain in awe of the SOAS Library collection and know that I will always remember it fondly. I was also excited to be able to choose the modules that I was most interested in and, in that way, build on my interests while also addressing my knowledge gaps. In addition, because SOAS is an institution that attracts students from all over the world, meeting my classmates and listening to their diverse worldviews has been an enriching experience.
As I wrap up my programme, I am looking forward to the next stage in my career. I am interested in obtaining even more qualifications, particularly as I zero in on my primary form of expression: literature. That I feel confident to continue down this path is in part thanks to the Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award. I will always remain thankful and grateful for what has been nothing short of a life-changing opportunity.
HELP MORE STUDENTS LIKE IDZA REALISE THEIR POTENTIAL AT SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
Margaret Busby CBE is a Ghanaian-born publisher, editor, writer, and broadcaster who was Britain’s first black female book publisher, co-founding London-based publishing house Allison and Busby in the 1960s.
It has been 30 years since the publication of Daughters of Africa, Margaret’s landmark anthology. Highly praised at the time, it inspired a new generation of writers, with several, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith, claiming it was a major influence on their writing careers. In March 2019, Myriad Editions, in conjunction with Margaret Busby, published New Daughters of Africa, a voice for the new generation, bringing together a selection of overlooked artists of the past with fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades.