Benjamin Kwakye was born in Accra, Ghana and attended the Presbyterian Secondary School in Ghana and Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School in the US. At Dartmouth, he majored in Government (with an emphasis in international relations), spending trimesters in Arles, France and the London School of Economics (LSE). He wrote and published poetry while in college, served as editor of Spirit (a literary journal of the Dartmouth College African American Society) and received the Society’s 1990 Senior Honor Roll for outstanding leadership, distinguished service and intellectual and artistic creativity.
His first novel, The Clothes of Nakedness (1998) won the 1999 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) and was adapted for a BBC Radio Play of the Week. His second novel The Sun by Night (2005) won the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book (Africa Region).
Kwakye has served as Resident Novelist of Window to Africa Radio and Afriscope Radio with Cyril Ibe, reviewing a number of African and African related titles on the air.
He is a director of The Africa Education Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting science education in Africa. He lives near Chicago.