This is the third phase of this writing competition, brought to you by Mozilla. Mozilla, in their efforts to create Kiswahili as a machine-recognizable language, have prepared a Kiswahili database that includes Kiswahili dialects as well, not just standard Kiswahili. This is a project that deserves support for its efforts to identify Kiswahili and Viswahili — even if machines will be taught this language, it is important to consider the presence of dialects and its speakers. Kiswahili, as the experts say, has its own depth.

This also becomes like a way to save these dialects, otherwise they will disappear and be forgotten. It will be like in the eighties and nineties when many schools here in Kenya forced students to speak only English, and did not appreciate their native languages. As the child continues his studies, he will glorify one language and degrade other languages, especially the mother's.

The Mozilla Common Voice project, which is in the process of building a suitable foundation for this database, understands the importance of this data and how this writing competition contributes to the development of Kiswahili and Viswahili as a machine-recognizable language. And here when we say 'machine' we mean all devices that rely on technology and the way that speakers of Kiswahili and its dialects can get services, for example through their phones. And it's not just service, because they will be able to participate in various activities to build themselves and also develop the country such as referendum and so on.

Any writer can submit a work in Kiswahili and its dialects. We also receive works that have been translated from other languages ​​into Kiswahili, and it will be important to mention the original authors. Remember, the works to be submitted will be in the Public Domain (CC-0) License. We also do not set a specific presentation topic to give writers creative freedom.

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is Friday 30 November and the winners will be announced and awarded before the end of December. Submit works (essays, not poetry) via

Instructions for submission:

  • Works to be submitted will be in the public domain. They will be under Public Domain (CC-0) license.
  • At least 2,500 words and not more than 5,000.
  • Work that will be accepted is ONLY ESSAY/SHORT STORIES, NOT POETRY.
  • Classification of text:
    • Do not use numbers instead of words, e.g. 2021
    • Do not use abbreviated words, e.g. "USA" or "ICE" as they may be read differently than they are pronounced.
    • Words should not be disrespectful.
    • Words should not incite any form of sexual violence or abuse
    • Words should not promote violence or gender violence
    • Words should respect gender diversity, e.g. the use of appropriate gender pronouns
    • Words should not incite violence/threats of violence
    • Words should not be presented digitally or not by hand writing.
    • The work should be your own.