Zimbabwe has a long history of producing great literary works and authors, and it seems this history is being carried on by the present generation of writers. Two Zimbabwean authors are featured on the shortlist for the 2021 African Writers Awards. In their fourth year of existence, the literary awards annually celebrate writers in the categories of poetry, creative non-fiction and drama.
The 2021 edition is under the theme “The Future of Africa”. Winners in each of the three genres will individually receive US$100 and a certificate. It is set to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Members of the judging panel chaired by Anthony Onugba include Gankhanani Moffat Moyo (Zambia), Sabah Carrim (Mauritius), Comfort Nyati, SDB (Zimbabwe), Nabilah Usman (Nigeria) and Temani Nkalolang (Botswana).
Since the awards began in 2018, Zimbabwe is yet to have a winner in any category. This year Peter Zowa and Nathaniel Mpofu are in the running in two of the four categories:
Adetutu by Adedoyin Adetutu (Nigeria)
Cultural Partnership for a Common African Future by Saliha Haddad (Algeria)
Is This Legacy by Oluchi B. Kolanisi (South Africa)
Long Live the Comrade by Peter Zowa (Zimbabwe)
What Our Tales Entail by Jesse Bitrus Danjuma (Nigeria)
Whispers of the African Sun by Enoch Akinlabi (Nigeria)
Award for Children’s Literature
Akaa and the Mango Tree by Chipalo Salimu (Zambia)
Kodjo Braves a Hi by Temidayo Odutokun (Nigeria)
Tea time with Tito by Stephanie Chizoba Odili (Nigeria)
The Enchanted Pen by Nathaniel Z Mpofu (Zimbabwe)
The Millionaire Orphan by Makhago Peter (Uganda)
What Does it Mean to be Kind Anyway by Kendi Karimi (Kenya)
The winners will be announced on October 9 during the 4th African Writers Conference (AWC) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The conference will be live streamed on Writers Space Africa social media pages and their website.
The AWC is hosted this year in partnership with the Department of Literature in the University of Dar, Alliance Française of Dar Es Salaam, and African Tales. This is made possible from the sponsorship of Feza Schools, Fintengo Schools, Our Son’s Bakery and Writers Space Africa.
The conference is supported by Ijemo Gallery, Africa in Dialogue, Brittle Paper, Southern Writers Bureau, Rosebud Editing & Proofreading, Self-Ish, Writers Guild Kenya, Kalulu Kreativez, The Roaring Writer, Colour Culture Arts, Authorship and Career Network, Nib Hub, Sotrane Publishers, 23.35 Africa, the International African Writers Association, and the African Writers Development Trust. — Greedy South.