2019 Writivism & Koffi Addo Prizes: Conversations With Shortlisted Writers

2019 Writivism & koffi addo Prizes

Conversations With Shortlisted Writers

I have spent the last couple of days holding intense and beautiful conversations with the three writers who have been shortlisted for the 2019 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction Award. It is here that I have come to realize that Creative Nonfiction has the power to heal us; the ones write it and the ones who read it.    
 
My first dialogue was with  Eugene Yakubu on  How To Wear Your Body, his story of  a daughter who watches her mother succumb to a dreadful disease. My second one was with Frances Ogamba on The Valley of Memories, a story that explores her experiences with carrying a soul of her father’s brother who died four decades ago.  And my last one was with Kanyinsola Olarunnisola on The Comedian: a moving story about how untimely death can be and  how it sneaks up on us like a thief in the night.
 
These stories, though somber, are necessary and remind us that we must create as many wonderful memories with the ones we love, for tomorrow might never come. I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to discuss these amazing work with the shortlisted writers and I wish them all the best.
 
~ Tshepo Phokoje, Creative Non-fiction Interviewer.
 
The future of African writing is an exciting and inspiring one. I have arrived to this conclusion after my conversations with the Writivism’s three shortlisted fiction writers.  
 
In my dialogue with Vuyelwa Maluleke, we explored Tale, her story that explores how motherhood looks when it’s not filled with love and adoration. It is a poetic story that leaves the reader with awe for its brilliance and sadness as its focus is on a Christian mother who does an exorcism on her daughter. 
 

Resoketswe  Manenzhe tells me her writing is inspired by the stories in the village. In her short stories, we meet Maserumo, a powerful voice that carries us through the story,  who tells us a mystery of several deaths, most unexplained, but starting with the death of a newborn, Little Samantha. It is a build up of a rumor that quickly turns into a beer-infused hysteria over sudden deaths. 

And lastly, I explore Ghana Boy  with Frances, a story about a neighborhood criminal, who started with petty theft until one day he is picked up by the police. His story is a tale of familial love and ignorance of his misdoings. But mostly it is a heartbreaking tale of police brutality in Nigeria. 

These three women are rightly placed on this shortlist and I look forward to read more works from them.

~ Kearoma Mosata, Fiction Interviewer

Join us from 6 August 2019 as Africa in Dialogue publishes individual conversations with all the Writivism shortlisted writers.

Meet the Curators

Tshepo Phokoje is a writer from Palapye, Botswana. She writes both Fictional and Creative non-fictional short stories as well as Poetry. Her first fictional short story was published as part of 36 Kisses; an Anthology of Short stories & Poems by Botswana Society of Human Development, which was aimed at promoting commercial tourism. Her poem Battered, Bruised & Abused, is part of Silent No More, a PDF anthology about Gender Based Violence. Her poem “FEAR” has been featured in the May 2018 edition of Writers Space Africa, an international online magazine. In her spare time, she edits her fellow writers’ works. She is an overall lover of Arts and hopes to start her own blog, which will focus on Mental Health, Gender Based Violence, Loss, Motherhood, the ripple effects of unemployment and/or liquidation of mines and Survival stories

Kearoma Mido Mosata is a Motswana writer and blogger. She was shortlisted for the inaugural BSHD Tourism Fiction Award in 2016. Her work appears in print in 36 Kisses and Other Short Stories & Poems and as part of It’s The Devil You Know- Collection of Works on Gender Based Violence. More of her works are online on Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review and Arts & Africa. Kearoma writes about a lot of things but lately, her writing has been inspired by the idea of displacement, the self and home. Her first Non-fictional short story “This Is How We Grieve” is part of the recently published 3rd Journal of The Single Story Foundation. 

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