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African Performance 2008

Risenga Makondo, Sierra Leonian footballers, and the recording of Belonging

Announcing the 2008 African Performance Winners


A radio play reflecting Africa's obsession with the English Premiership beat hundreds of scripts to win top prize in this year's BBC African Performance competition.

Judge Shimmer Chinodya, an award-winning Zimbabwean author, said: "I was very impressed with the standard of entries and the range of genres covered this year."

The prize went to "Dear Mr Lampard" by South African Risenga Mkondo. It tells the story of a Zimbabwean boy who writes letter after letter to his idol Frank Lampard. When he gets tickets to an England v South Africa game in Johannesburg, he sets off on an adventure to meet the Chelsea player.

In second place was Tawanda Mutero Kanengoni of Zimbabwe. In "A Home for Tai", a young wife struggles to conceive the child which will save her marriage.

Joint third place went to Benjamin Kent's "Funeral Bells" which wryly examines the place of funerals in Africa and "A Dangerous Voyage" by Olusanya Kolawole Oluwaseyi, the tale of four West Africans who risk their necks to start a new life in the Canary Islands.

Shimmer also awarded two special commendations to "Power Failure" by Nigerian Jide Afolayan and "Belonging" by Zimbabwean Mirirai Moya.

All six plays can be heard on BBC World Service radio. The African Performance season kicks off with "Dear Mr Lampard" on Thursday 10 July at 16:00 GMT. You will also be able to listen to the winning plays on this site shortly after broadcast.
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