Ellen Banda Aaku – Biography, Career, Sate of Organ

Biography of Ellen Banda Aaku

Ellen Banda-Aaku (born 6 May 1965) is a Zambian author, radio drama and film producer who was born in the UK and grew up in Africa. She is the author of two novels and several books for children, and has had short stories published in anthologies and other outlets. 

Writing career

Ellen Banda-Aaku’s first book, Wandi’s Little Voice, won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa in 2004. Of the title, the judges stated that the author’s style reveals a rare gift for revealing the truth and contradictions at the core of human relationships. In 2007 she won the Commonwealth Short Story Competition for her story “Sozi’s Box” Her first novel, Patchwork, won the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing and was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize. In 2006 Banda-Aaku sat on the judging panel for the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa. African Writing Online, many literatures, one voice In 2012 she was awarded the Zambia Arts Council Chairpersons Ngoma Award for her outstanding achievements in literature. She has conducted creative writing workshops in Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

Her short stories have been published in anthologies in Australia, South Africa, the UK and the US, including in New Daughters of Africa (edited by Margaret Busby, 2019). 

In July 2020, Banda-Aaku was announced as chair of the panel judges for the Kalemba Short Story Prize 2020.

She is co-author with James Patterson of a children’s book entitled The Elephant Girl, due to be released in July 2022



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