Ellen-Banda-Aaku-ZambiaZambian-born ELLEN BANDA-AAKU has lived, studied and worked in Ghana, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zambia. Banda-Aaku proclaims to challenge herself in her writing by engaging different genres. She has published three books for children and her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in Australia, South Africa and the United States.


Educated in Zambia, Banda-Aaku has a BA in Public Administration and Psychology from the University of Zambia, an MA in Financial Management with Social Policy from Middlesex University in the UK, and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Banda-Aaku writes mainly about everyday issues affecting teenagers and women in Africa today. Her concerns around women in Africa is foreground in her work as a contributor to the anthology African Women Writing Resistance, a compilation by African women writing about the challenges that certain cultural beliefs and practices impose on women on the African continent. She is also a contributor to The Bed Book of Short Stories, an anthology by women from Southern Africa.


Banda-Aaku’s first book for children, Wandi’s Little Voice won the Macmillan New Children’s Writer Award in 2004, her short story, Sozi’s Box, was adjudged the overall winner of the 2007 Commonwealth Short Story competition and herfirst novel, Patchwork (2010), won the 2010 Penguin Prize for African writing. The latter is due for release in South Africa in 2011.


Her future plans are to find ways to work with and mentor young Zambian women in order to promote and hopefully inspire more of them to become authors.


Bibliography (Selected) 

Twelve Months, Oxford University Press, 2010

To bleach or not to bleach (edited by Nicola Moore), London: Matador, 2010

Made of Mukwa, Cape Town: Modaji Press, 2010

Lost, Oxford: New Internationalist Publications Ltd., 2008

Yours Faithfully Yogi, Kenya: East Africa Educational Publishers, 2008

Wandi’s Little Voice, Oxford: Macmillan Education, 2004