The Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme is an opportunity for emerging and young Black playwrights of Caribbean and African descent aged 25 and under. The award includes a cash prize of £3,000 and a nine month mentoring programme with a leading Black British playwright.
The Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme joins the Roland Rees Bursary and Alfred Fagon Award to complete a trio of opportunities for Black British playwrights named in honour of three pioneers who were contemporaries, friends and supporters of each others’ work.
Mustapha’s wife Ingrid Selberg said, “Mustapha’s sudden death was a great loss and it is very important to us that Mustapha’s name is being carried forward in such a lasting and meaningful way and one that will provide opportunities to young, gifted black playwrights of the future. Mustapha loved working with and encouraging young people to achieve their dreams and he would be honoured and delighted by this Award.”
James St. Ville, Chair of Trustees of The Alfred Fagon Award said, “The Alfred Fagon Award is proud to be launching the Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme as part of its 25th anniversary. It is important to keep what we do vital, accessible and relevant. This new award and its approach to building links in the theatre industry through mentoring is an expression of confidence in and support for the power of new and young writers. It is an important addition to all we are trying to do.”
This prize is supported by the Estate of Mustapha Matura, Garrick Charitable Trust and The Henry and Mary Kent Trust and many individual donors.
Kwame said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be awarded the Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme. It is such an honour to be given this rare and generous opportunity to receive mentorship from a world-class playwright, alongside the championing of my writing that this award bestows. I’m incredibly excited to sharpen my writing technique over this mentorship period, and to expand my approach to storytelling and form with increasing boldness, ambition, and precision. This is a life-changing moment for me, and I feel genuinely delighted and galvanised for the future.”
Ingrid Selberg, wife of Mustapha Matura says, “I found Kwame Owusu’s ‘Dreaming and Drowning’ a powerful and authentic portrayal of a coming of age of a young black person, which explored anxiety, anger, confusion and joy conveyed in vivid and poetic language. I feel Kwame Owusu is a writer with great promise and deserves to win the Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme.”
Congratulations to Chakira Alin who won the inaugural Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme. She wins £3,000 and a mentoring programme. Her mentor will be the award-winning playwright (twice winner of the AFA) the wonderful Roy Williams.
Chakira told us what it meant to win this Award at the start of her career.
“Winning this award has given me a massive boost of confidence as an emerging writer, as well as a platform to show my work. It has granted me a springboard from which to leap into the professional world of theatre and I have already benefited from the connections I have made as a result of this win. The chance to work closely alongside one of my favourite playwrights is an invaluable opportunity and I hope that the mentoring programme will equip me with the necessary tools to navigate the industry as I set out on my journey to write professionally. I can already feel the impact this honour is having on me and I am so thankful to the organisers for this recognition. I know that in 20 years, when I look back on my career, I will pinpoint winning this award as the very moment my life changed.”