Pius Nyondo, 21 year-old Nyasa Times Senior Sub-editor, writer and poet, and eleven other Malawian writers have been nominated for the 2015 Peer Gynt Literary Award, organisers of the award Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) said on Monday.
The award called for children manuscripts, and Nyondo has been shortlisted for his entry The Wheelchair Boy.
Nyondo said from his Mzuzu University base that he was “happy” to be shortlisted.
“The idea to write the story emanated from two writing mentorship programmes. One by The Story Club Malawi in November, 2014 and another by Gotham Writers Workshop of New York earlier this year,” said Nyondo.
Stanley Kenani, internationally acclaimed writer and twice nominee of the Caine Prize for Literature, Nyondo said, paid his Gotham Writers’ Workshop fees.
He highlighted it was “important” for Malawian writers to start writing for children.
“Our reading and writing cultures are abysmal because we lack a foundation for children at an early stage. We don’t have viable literature at their disposal,” said Nyondo.
Others shortlisted works include Akuzike and the Gods by Wesley Macheso, Rat for Christmas by Mada Nyambo, Tiseke and the Tree by Aubrey Chinguwo, From Herd-boy to Head-boy by Fatuma Mninde-Silungwe, Limbanazo Finds the Clue by Heath Kathewera, Grace the Village Girl by Matilda Phiri, The Servant by Dickson Galagade Phiri, Trip To Town by Benedicto Nkonde, The Rotten Peanut by Hagai Magai, The Voluntary Extension Worker by Kumbukani Chikomo and Yona and his Father by Joe Mlenga.
Writers Desmond Dudwa Phiri, Jonathan Mbuna and Akwete Sande made the shortlist.
The winner will be selected by a panel of judges comprising Dr. Paschal Kishindo, a lecturer at Chancellor College, Dr. Levi Zeleza Manda (journalist and writer), and Akwete Sande (writer).
Nyondo is a third year Bachelor of Arts (Education) at Mzuzu University studying English and African Linguistics.
His previous awards include the 2012 First Merchant Bank Short Story Award.
He is also a published author of the novella Lions from the South (2011), and is approaching completion of his short story collection In Memory of Years Wasted.
Alongside award winning writer Shadreck Chikoti he co-coordinates The Story Club-Malawi as programmes coordinator in the northern region.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :