Dede Kamkondo contest long-list announced: Mapanje to choose overall winner

The Wisdom Dede Kamkondo Foundation (WDFK) Monday announced a long-list of ten for its 2014 Dede Kamkondo Short Story Contest, saying the overwhelming number of entries that were received made it impossible for them to stick to deadlines.

Kenani:  Malawi community raised the funds
Kenani: One of the judges

Creative director at Malawi Pius Nyondo, financiers of the competition – which is in memory of versatile Malawian writer, poet and playwright Wisdom Dede Kamkondo – said lack of commitment on the part of donors was another setback.

However, Nyondo was quick to say that they were happy with the long-listing development.

“Since 2013 we’ve been financing the contests from our own pockets, and it has not been that easy. The corporate world, which we’ve approached times without number, have not been very forthcoming,” said Nyondo.

Appearing on the long-list of ten is Andrew Dakalira for his story Breaking Free, Beaton Galafa for Bullet in the Wind,  Steve Kumalonje for Innocent Accident, Tuntufye Simwimba for Meet Benedict, Precious Mulima for Scarlet Rivers, Wesley Macheso for Sweet Mangoes in his ears, Theophany Nammelo for The Music of Nature, Natasha Munde for Whispers of May, Muthi Nhlema for Legacyand Tawonga Msowoya for Mr Charles.

A team of judges comprising world acclaimed poet and memoirist Jack Mapanje, Caine Prize twice nominated short story writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani and 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award winner and founder of The Story Club Malawi will select the best three stories, Nyondo said.

“Due to the financial challenges that have currently rocked us, we may only be able to award the first prize. Unless we source funding from elsewhere, we will not give cash prizes to the second and third winners,” he said.

The overall winner will cart home US$200 (about K100, 000). The winner is expected to be announced early in April.

The Dede Kamkondo Literary Awards are a brainchild of Nyondo and Towera Kamkondo – daughter to Wisdom – and were inaugurated in 2012. Paul Sezzie won the inaugural poetry award.

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7 years ago

Words mean everything. They reflect who we are as a culture, and they also help shape our direction. As Langston Hughes aptly put it, ” One day some one will write all about me, it will be me I reckon…”

Kingsley Jika
Kingsley Jika
7 years ago

It’s only that people and the corporate world do not know what it would mean to this nation supporting such competitions. However, it is gratifying to note the resilience of the people behind it. I admire that spirit, fighting on where only a handful seem to appreciate the power of the pen. And it’s encouraging to see Kenani, Mapanje, et al, giving their moral support to the cause; it should show many this small thing nurtures some gold inside it. I am anxiously waiting to celebrate the victory. Great news!

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