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US journal set to publish poet Wokoma-atani’s special edition

A US journal known a s Ufahamu:A journal of African studies is set to recognise the writing works of essayist, poet and writer Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga by producing his special edition.

Malunga confirmed the development on Monday.

Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies is an interdisciplinary journal of African studies published by University of California, United States of America.

He said Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies has decided to publish a special edition for him because he has been contributing works to the journal since the 1990s.

“I have been publishing short stories with Ufahamu Journal since the 1990s. In 2014 four of my short stories were accepted at once on the understanding that they would be published in installments beginning from 2015.

So far two of these short stories have been published with the latest being Fate’s Mockery, he said.

Malunga said one of the editors who reviewed the four short stories asked him through the Chief Editor to grant her permission to come up with a special edition to feature his short stories.

“I have already granted the requisite permission but I am nevertheless overwhelmed by the honour bestowed upon me,” said the veteran poet.

Malunga said t h e last time he read about a similar honour extended to a Malawian was when the life of Henry Blazius Masauko Chipembere was celebrated by Ufahamu contributors with articles on him after his death.

The poet famed for the poem titled ‘Ndizakutengela Kunyanja Ligineti’said he appreciates this recognition from international scholars.

Malunga noted that the biggest problem writers face in the country is that they do not get to appreciate each other.

“I am not therefore surprised that we do not make much progress because instead of building each other up for the good of our country we tend to be busy pulling each other down,” he said.

Malunga said If not for late Chinua Achebe as the editor of the African Writers’ Heinemann series, they would not have known the multitude of rare African talent he unearthed and helped to grow.

“This is also a lesson to our weekend newspaper editors that Malawians deserve better fiction from their writers if only such writers can be rewarded for what they are worth,” he said.

Apart from Fate’s Mockery, some of Malunga’s short stories which were accepted include When Birds Roost, and Meaningful Love.

Malunga said he has made progress in his writing world.

“I am happy, this is no mean achievement. This is a measure how I have grown in the art. This is a top notch journal and it shows that I have not been labouring in vain,” he said.

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