Writer Shadreck Chikoti listed in top 10 African authors
Renowned writer Shadreck Chikoti continues to make strides in the world of writing as he has been listed among the top 10 contemporary African authors by www.africa.com.
He wrote on his Facebook account that he was not aware of the list but he was encouraged by the development.
Many people including fellow artists Manasseh Chisiza, who is National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) President and Elson Kambalu hailed Chikoti for this saying he was flying the country’s flag in the world of writing.
In the top 10 according to Africa.com, Chikoti has been listed alongside well known names such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who have set the stage for Africa to be noticed globally and are making a mark in the literature world.
According to blogger Minna Salami, interconnectivity and technology has increased access to African writers, especially to those who have been seeking to share alternative and unique stories.
Salami said the world has noticed that Africa has its own stories to tell; stories rooted in the culture of the continent from the perspective of people from the continent.
Chikoti, who is the Story Club founder and vice president of Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) has just returned from United States of America where he went to read his award winning futuristic novel Azotus the kingdom.
The novel, which is a story about how Africa would be 500 years from now, won Chikoti, the 2014 Peer Gynt Literary Award.
It took Chikoti six years to complete the novel.
The writer said yesterday that the exciting part of him being in the top 10 contemporary authors is the fact of recognition, that people from across borders are able to notice the art coming from Malawi.
“This is a huge step for all us. We need to match with international standards. The other names mentioned on that list are really huge and renowned, so it is humbling to have your name on the list,” he said.
With recent remarks coming from some quarters that the country was not doing much in writing to compete on the international front which has seen West Africa dominating, Chikoti said this shows progress.
“Africa is huge, as you know, its size is the size of North America, India, China, the whole of Europe all combined, so, a recognition in a continent this big should not be overlooked,” said the author, who has several books to his credit.
The writer, who left last month for USA for reading and returned on Friday, also said his trip to University of Michigan was very successful.
“My reading was well attended and I was shocked to hear and see my works being studied in classes. My short stories, Child of a hyena, and The Occupant, are being studied alongside my novel, Azotus the Kingdom,” he said.
He further said that the students engaged with him on these works and gave intelligent and eye-opening feedback.
Chikoti said Michigan University is big when it comes to the arts and that it is where Chigozie Obioma, one of the shortlisted writers for the Man Booker Award of 2015 studied
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