By Chris Loka, Contributor:
Writer Dyson Mthawanji has postponed the launch of his book Chiphadzuwa cha Usiku due to Covid-19.
Mthawanji was scheduled to launch the book on January 30 in Lilongwe but will not be doing so due to the pandemic.
Several players in the creative industry have postponed or cancelled their events due to increased cases of Covid-19.
The increase in cases and deaths has forced the government to gazette new preventative measures which include a restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people.
“Last year, I announced that I would officially launch my book this month. Unfortunately, this will not be possible because of the restrictions on public gatherings in line with Covid-19 restrictions. I will announce the new date for the launch later when the situation normalises,” he said.
He, however, said that, despite the postponement, the book was on the market.
“The stories in the book are about culture and everyday life. I am trying to make sure that the book reaches out to people in the rural areas,” Mthawanji said.
Asked whether he is considering doing a virtual launch just like other writers have done citing Alfred Msadala, Mthawanji said:
“I cannot do a virtual launch considering the guests I am planning to invite. Most of the people I intend to invite come from rural areas where internet connectivity is a big challenge. Most of them also don’t have laptops or smart phone to follow the launch online,” he said.
Mthawanji said 80 percent of the first consignment of the book has sold out.
The book Chiphadzuwa cha Usiku has a collection of 12 Chichewa short stories.
The book was printed by Montfort Media in Balaka.