The second story telling session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre on Friday night attracted a good audience, a clear indication that people were longing for such a platform.
The session on Friday saw five writers— Victoria Pachalo Machilika (Queen), OJ Hara (Malawi’s First Superheroes: Dawn Kwacha & Tambala Chick: The Curious Case of Nachipanti), Dingaan Mithi (The Proximity Factor), Isaac Mafuel (The Day the Hyena came knocking and Mtamandeni Chatsala (The Lonely Demigod)— read their works.
During the first session in November last year, some people observed that the reading sessions were somehow boring as the reading was not accompanied by gestures or any action.
But one of the organisers, Ekari Mbvundula, clarified that they wanted the sessions to be that way so that writers “should feel free to read in their own way”.
“I would rate this event 10 out of 10. People enjoyed it and mingled and discussed the stories,” Mbvundula said.
She said they plan to hold the next event on February 23.
All the writers who read their works indicated that it was their first time to participate in a story-telling session.
The story telling session, although in its infancy, has shown that it can help unearth more writers, gauging by the stories read on the second session.
In their stories, which were diverse, the writers proved that the country has more stories to tell and that there are a lot of writers out there who would love to come out but lack the necessary platforms to get encouragement.
Apart from reading their stories, the writers had time to interact with the audience through a discussion.
During the discussion, the writers also shed light on what drove them to come up with their stories.
And just to beef up the event, there was a quiz in which people were asked different questions related to writing, which saw people going away with lollipops.
Machilika, who can write on any topic and genre but has unpublished works, said, being her first time, she was nervous.
“My mother actually pushed me to come and participate [in the event] after she saw that I just write without taking any action. I am looking forward to publishing my stories and being part of these sessions,”Machilika said.
Mithi, whose short stories have appeared in Malawi News, also said it was his first time to be part of a story-telling session.
“The feedback was good. We need to continue writing and telling stories. It showed tonight that there is a new generation of writers and, so, we need to keep on writing and improving because people are hungry to read different stories,” Mithi said.
Mithi revealed that he has finished his science fiction novel The Proximity Factor, which came up due to rising cases of road accidents in the country.
OJ Hara also said it was a good feeling for him to be part of the session, observing that there are more stories to tell.
JCC and Maison de la France Deputy Director, Daisy Belfield, said it was a good platform for writers.
“It’s the beginning of more things to come in 2018. This space is open to the creative industry. We actually have a Literary Festival coming up. We will also start film screenings,” Belfield said.
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