Zimbabwe: Local Writer Shortlisted for Global Prize

11 February 2020

Multi-award winning author Philani Amadeus Nyoni is among 21 authors shortlisted for the inaugural Afritondo Short Story Prize. Nyoni's story "Slick Dog: Diary of a Ninja" was selected from 421 submissions made by writers from across the world.

Pan, as Nyoni is affectionately known in arts circles, said he is honoured to have made the short-list.

"I feel honoured to have my name debated at continental level once again.

"I have not received any brass since the 2017 Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA), but all nominations thereafter have been international and that is the growth I want to see in my work," he said.

In a statement announcing the short-listed, Afritondo organisers said, "We received 421 entries from 19 countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

"We were happy with the spread even though the entries were by no means evenly distributed as there were more submissions from some countries and fewer from others."

The statement added that a group of readers came up with a long-list of 40 writers before narrowing it down to 21.

"We set up a team of eight readers with the task of drawing up a long-list. The first stage of this process produced 40 entries. However, due to our goal of publishing an anthology, we could only accept about 20 stories. The harder task was whittling the list from 40 to 21.

"In order to do this, we had to apply stricter standards, including appraising the quality of writing and assessing each entry's reflection of the theme. It was a tough process, and it was hard to see some good entries go," read the statement.

Pan is an accomplished writer, poet and filmmaker whose trophy cabinet include three National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA) gongs, a Caine Prize for African Writing, and a BAA.

In 2018 he was nominated for the prestigious African Writer' Awards for his short story "Celestial Incest".

Last year his book "Philthurm 2.0" was translated into Swedish. If he wins, Pan will pocket US$1 000.

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