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Writer Chikoti glitters

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Renowned writer Shadreck Chikoti continues to fly the country’s flag on the international platform with the latest being that his sci-fi story Sahara is part of a book All the Good Things Around Us- An Anthology of African Short Stories edited by Agyeman-Duah.

The book will be launched in London on August 15.

Several people on the social media have congratulated Chikoti, who alongside Stanley Onjezani Kenani, are the only Malawian writers featuring in Africa 39.

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Africa 39 is a collaborative project initiated by the Hay Festival in partnership with Rainbow Book Club, celebrating Port Harcourt: UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 by identifying 39 of the most promising writers under the age of 40 with the potential and talent to define trends in the development of literature from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora.

The Peer Gynt Award winner, who is also Story Club Founder, said yesterday he was excited to be part of the contributors in the 500-paged book.

According to the writer, Sahara is a story that talks about a scientist, who finds a cure for an epidemic but is arrested by the government because he is considered mad.

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He adds that later the scientist finds a way, through an android, to communicate with a journalist to reveal the formula for his cure.

“I was contacted by the publisher to contribute because he knew me from my international networks. Looking at the names in the book, and looking at the reputation of the editor, you cannot feel any prouder,” said Chikoti, who has published several books including Azotus the Kingdom.

He further said this was more than one could ask and a strong testimony for the miles that “we have began to cover as Malawian writers.”

The book is said to be the most comprehensive in terms of new writing and that it, among others, features some of Africa’s most influential and award-winning authors.

Apart from Chikoti, the other writers are Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zimbabwe’s Tsitsi Dangaremba and Zambia’s Ellen Banda-Aaku .

Chikoti called on fellow writers in the country to keep writing.

“Let’s write more, let’s read more, let’s work together, let’s not stop trying. We are getting there by and by and with small steps, we will get there,” he said.

According to available information, the book will be launched alongside another book and this will be part of a major lecture on Africa’s democratic advances and development under the title, Africa’s Democratic Path and the Search for Economic Transformation at the Attlee Pontius Suit of the British Houses of Parliament in London.

The lecture would have a select audience of 200 that would include some Members of both Houses, the London diplomatic community, leading policy institutions and faculty of some United Kingdom universities.

A release from the Office of the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diana Abbott in London and the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi said, Lord Paul Boateng of the House of Lords would be the introductory speaker.

The event has special guest of honour, Nigerian Nobel Laureate, playwright and poet, Wole Soyinka, who would reflect on governance and the literary arts.

Apart from All the Good Things Around Us- An Anthology of African Short Stories, the other book that will be launched is titled May Their Shadows Never Shrink.

Both books would be launched by Augustus Casely-Hayford, a British curator and lecturer in World Art at Sotheby’s one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art and presenter of the BBC TV Series, Lost Kingdoms of Africa and chair of the 2013 Jury of the Caine Prize for African Writing.

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