Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

The 2019 Kalemba Short Story Prize has gone to Mubanga Kalimamukwento, for her short story, “Inswa,” described by the judges as “resonant and gripping.” The $1000 prize, funded and administered by the publishing company Ukusefya WORDS, is awarded to the best work of original and unpublished short fiction written in English by a Zambian, and is in its second year. The inaugural prize in 2018 was won by Mali Kambandu.

Told in the first person, “Inswa” is “a coming-of-age story of a teen protagonist initiated into sexual awakening by her best friend, Wongani, while being pushed into premature adulthood by her parents.”

The 2019 judging panel comprised the writer Mulenga Kapwepwe, the poet Kayo Chingonyi, Sunday Times editor Austin Kaluba, and the chair Ainehi Edoro, Editor of Brittle Paper and Professor of Literature at UW-Madison. On the winner, Edoro said:

The author’s exploration of desire is nuanced, the prose is precise, but evocative. The writer captures the intensity and range of emotions that make such intimacies feel true and valid even in worlds where they are perceived as transgressive. 

Mubanga Kalimamukwento is a lawyer and writer whose first novel, The Mourning Bird, won the 2019 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award. A 2018/2019 Hubert Humphrey Fellow, her creative nonfiction and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Advocates for Human Rights Minnesota (USA), The Dreamers Creative Writing Magazine (Canada), Two Sisters Writing and Publishing (USA), The Eunoia Review (Singapore), The Best of Africa Magazine (Zambia), The Airgonaut (USA), SyncityNG (Nigeria), The Menteur (France), The Mark Literary Review (USA), and Overland (Australia).

“I’ve always been an avid reader of mostly African Literature, and my work is informed greatly by what I absorb,” said Kalimamukweto. “I especially love Ellen Banda-Aaku, NoViolet Bulawayo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kopano Matlwa, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Panashe Chigumadzi, and Tsitsi Dangarembga.” 

Finalists for the 2019 prize include Jumani Clarke for “Binary,” Fiske Nyirongo for “Pain by Any Other Name,” Lucy Zulu Simuzingili for “The Masks,” Lydia Ngoma for “All To Love,” and Mirriam Lusambo for “Career Battle.”

_________________________________________________________________

THE ZAMBIAN LITERARY SCENE

Zambia’s best-known writer at the moment is Namwali Serpell, whose “The Sack” won the 2015 Caine Prize and whose “Triptych: Texas Pool Party” was the subject of a feature by us early this year and was shortlisted for the inaugural Brittle Paper Award for Fiction. This year, her debut novel The Old Drift was hailed as the Great Zambian Novel and reviewed by Salman Rushdie.

James Murua’s Literature Blog has some context to the Zambian literary scene:

While Serpell is the flavour of the moment, she’s not the only Zambian writer out there of course. There is Ellen Banda-Aaku with novels like Patchwork (2011) and Madam 1st Lady (2016) to her name as well as numerous books for children as well as short stories featuring in publications galore. Also there is Binwell Sinyangwe has the Quills of Desire (1996) and A Cowrie of Hope (2000) and the “original Zambian writer” Wilbur Smith who has written well, all the novels.

The Kalemba Short Story Prize sponsor Ukusefya WORDS is the publisher of the national bestselling book, Insoselo na Mapinda, a collection of more than 700 Bemba proverbs and their meanings in English.

______________________________________________________________________

The 2020 Kalemba Prize will be open for submissions later this year. The prize can be followed on Twitter: @KalembaPrize. 

Read “Inswa” HERE.

Brittle Paper congratulates Mubanga Kalimamukwento.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

July 10 | Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwa on Conversations Across the Diaspora

July 10 _ Sarah Ladipo Manyika Hosts Strive Masiyiwas on Conversations Across the Diaspora

Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of In Dependence (2008) and Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (2016), has teamed up […]

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year in the British Book Awards

  Bernardine Evaristo’s winning streak continues as she dominates two categories of the 2020 British Book Awards: Best Fiction Book […]

Apply for the 2020 Morland Writing Scholarship | £27,000 for Nonfiction, £18,000 Fiction

Apply for the 2020 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship

The Miles Morland Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Morland African Writing Scholarships. The awards offer a fiction […]

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity | Here is How to Nominate Someone

The Million Naira Nigeria Prize for Difference and Diversity _ Here is How to Nominate Someone

Nominations for The Nigeria Prize for Difference & Diversity is officially open. The new prize, co-presented by digital media platform […]

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria | Chude Jideonwo

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria _ Chude Jideonwo (2)

Last year, I wrote a piece on CNN during Pride Month​—​a month set aside to celebrate sexual and gender diversity […]

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize (1)

British author of Ghanaian heritage Derek Owusu has been awarded the 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize for his debut novel That […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.