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Shadreck Chikoti listed top 10 contemporary African authors

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CHIKOTI —We need to take writing seriously

Award winning writer Shadreck Chikoti continues to shine on the international scene as he has been listed by Africa.com as among the 10 contemporary African authors.

Apart from Chikoti, the list has also South African author Lauren Beukes, known for her 2010 winning novel Zoo City, Kenyan up and coming author Okwiri Odour, who made waves in the literature world after winning the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing, Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala, Zimbabwean Noviolet Bulawayo and Ethiopian author Dinaw Mengestu.

Best known for his futuristic novel Azotus the Kingdom, Chikoti won the 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award.

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He said yesterday he was happy to be recognised and fly the country’s flag.

“This makes me want to perfect my art more and more so that I live to the expectation of people. This also invigorates my passion,” Chikoti said.

The former Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) vice president, said there was still need to improve on the quality of work.

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“We need to take writing seriously, not as a side dish. We must also be ambitious as to try international markets and competitions. We must not be satisfied, we always need to feel empty and hunger for more. Writing is serious business,” he said.

Chikoti, who is the founder of Story Club in Lilongwe was also recognised by CNN as among the writers, whose work people should be reading right now.

He was also nominated by Africa39 project as one of the most promising African writers under the age of 40.

Zimbabwean writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangaremba once told The Guardian of United Kingdom, that the book that she thought was underrated was Chikoti’s Azotus the Kingdom.

“I would love more people to value this book,” Tsitsi said.

The artist last year participated in an international writing residency in United States of America.

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