Chiku Ndaferankhande speaks on triumph


Winner of the Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) National Literary Awards Chikumbutso Ndaferankhande has said he will take out 10 percent of his K1 million prize to pay tithe.

“10 percent I will pay tithe to my church since I am a Christian and 90 percent I will sit down with my wife and see how we can use it,” he said.

Ndaferankhande received K1 million and a trophy with his Chronicles of An Inmate.


On second position was Mafunga Lucius Phaiya with Rising to the Bottom while Victoria Kalaundi came third with It’s Over. The two received K500,000 and K200,000, respectively.

There were also four consolation prizes of K50,000 each which went to Dingaan Mithi (Contraband Report), Ndongolera Mwangupili ( Sweet and Bitter), Nixon Mateulah ( Forgiveness) and Matilda Phiri ( Bitter Lemonade).

The 2017/2018 National Literary Awards held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre alongside the launch of A Grafted Tree and Other Stories, an anthology of women writers in Malawi, which was reviewed by Professor Pascal Kishindo, Hoffman Aipira and Sambalikagwa Mvona, who is the Mawu president.


Kishindo, who was the chief judge, said the judges were individually requested to do a blind review of manuscripts and that in their evaluation, they looked at imagination, creativity, language and style.

Announcing Ndaferankhande as the winner, Kishindo said his work can stand with any kind of writing from the world.

Ndaferankhande made history for himself emerging winner in the contest formerly Peer Gynt Award for the first time.

“I am overwhelmed and out of words for this win. Frankly speaking I never expected it. The award is big,” the writer said.

Ndaferankhande has also triumphed in the Mawu/FMB Short Story Awards twice.

“But the maximum words I have written is 4,000 words but this one the minimum was 40,000 words which is just wow,” he said.

He said the writing starts now for him adding that he invested countless hours to write Chronicles of An Inmate.

“This prison writing was inspired by Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hawthorne and the Shawshank Redemption. I also borrowed heavily from Sam Mpasu’s Prisoner 374 and Jack Mapanje’s memoir And The Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night,” he said.

Ndaferankhande said he was feeling something burning in his heart which had to be released hence coming up with Chronicles Of An Inmate.

From his assessment, the writer, who has received several congratulatory messages through his Facebook page including renowned writer, Stanley Kenani, said the novel is just 50 percent and that it is incomplete.

“I need six months to panel beat the novel and getting different comments from among others, Professor Pascal Kishindo, I need to edit it. I want to make it a great novel and that in the next five years the book should be on the English literature (syllabus),” he said.

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