By Foster Benjamin
Three Malawian writers – Chikumbutso Ndaferankhande, who is Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) President, Wesley Macheso, a columnist in The Daily Times and Davie Chingwalu-have made it into an anthology by Ghana-based Pan African Writers Association (Pawa).
The collection, entitled Voices that Sing Behind the Veil: Anthology of Short Stories from Africa and Diaspora, is part of the initiative of Pawa, which is an umbrella body of writers’ associations on the African continent and the diaspora.
Ndaferankhande, who took over Mawu presidency last year from veteran writer Sambalikagwa Mvona, said he was delighted that his short story – The Escapee-had made it to the final list.
“This is something I am proud of, bearing in mind that such contests usually attract a crop of good writers out there,” the Mawu leader said.
He said that ‘The Escapee’ is an extract from his debut book and that it depicts a man who is falsely imprisoned for murder.
On his part, Macheso, who penned ‘Children of the River’, a tale of David Livingstone and witchcraft in the Shire valley, said it was no mean feat to be featured in the continental anthology.
The creative writer, who writes The Write Stuff in The Daily Times added that it was good that the country had been represented in the collection of contemporary short stories.
“It is great to see that the sons of the soil have carried the flag higher to the literary skies. This is no mean feat and we cherish it,” Macheso, who recently launched his book titled A Masquerade of Spirits, said.
Chingwalu said he was dedicating his story ‘The Blind Love’ to all writers in the country.
“My story plots around a love triangle between two soldiers and a lady. It ends into murder of one soldier in a police cell by the owner of the wife. This story probably leaves readers in suspense, hence it won the hearts of Pan African Writers Association,” the retired police officer said.
Pawa Editor and writer Ivor Agyeman-Duah said the body was overwhelmed with several stories from over 20 African countries and beyond.
“It was not easy to make a final list. We had many submissions from over 20 African countries and beyond but sadly we had to decline acceptance of about 30 percent of them.
“We hope that the almost 500-page collection would be published in the last quarter of the year or earlier. We will possibly launch it in Addis Ababa [Ethiopia] and at the Pan African Writers Association Secretariat in Accra [Ghana],” he said.
In 2010, Pawa recognised legendary writer the late Desmond Dudwa Phiri for his prowess in writing and awarded him a seat alongside other African great writers such as Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.