- Category: TOW 2014
HAWA JANDE GOLAKAI hails from Liberia and was born in Frankfurt, Germany. She returned to her home country at a very young age, where she stayed until the eruption of the civil war in 1990, after which her family fled. The unpredictable life that followed has caused Golakai to school, work and live in several African countries, including South Africa.
Golakai worked in Cape Town for nearly a decade as a researcher and science writer at academic research institutions. An immunologist and academic writer by training, Golakai’s career has revolved around clinical and public healthcare for several years.
Golakai’s personal experiences span that of refugee, student, foreigner, scientist, contemporary African citizen and nomad, all of which have provided ample expertise and creative fodder to turn her hand to fiction writing, especially crime and thriller fiction.
In 2011, Golakai’s debut The Lazarus Effect was published by Kwela Books/NB Publishers, introducing Voinjama Johnson as the first Liberian investigator in a crime novel. The book has received three nominations.
In 2011, The Lazarus Effect was longlisted for the Wole Soyinka Prize for African writers and shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Prize for Fiction. The following year, it was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize for Creative Writing respectively.
Golakai resides in Monrovia, Liberia and is currently completing the sequel to The Lazarus Effect.
The Lazarus Effect, Kwela Books/NB Publishers, 2011