Introductions by Gaamangwe Joy Mogami
Time and again we realise and remember that there are multiple folds and multiple values of a story. A story is a window that seems, at least at first, as a view into a world or idea or lives. What I am learning now is that most stories are not contained or singular worlds, most stories are worlds vibrating with more worlds within them, they are ever branching and yearning to yield more worlds, more stories, more truths.
The beginning writer, those of us, who are still learning how to births truths, how to create and hide worlds within worlds, are interesting custodians because we are still stumbling, falling, in-eloquently but with guts, with faith and just sheer willpower that our stories matter, our stories belong to us, and we are here. Beginning writers can light the torch, and the world can see itself in the world they have created. This is true of all the storytellers in Writivism Prizes shortlists.
In my conversation with the shortlists, I discovered worlds upon worlds. With Munachim, we went to the world of the fluidity and continuum of gender, and the fascinating aspect of how love brings us both warmth and devastation. With Saaleha, we explored the world of authenticity in all stories, and how we are more than our pain and suffering. With Regine, we attempted to discover ways we can balance modernisation and preservation of our values, for many of the ills are merely symptoms of this imbalance. With Blessing, we explored the endless world of love, and life after death, and the belief that death is only a beginning. With Andrew, we went to the world of good and bad and asked where do we draw the line? And also what does the idea of a ruthless God mean to humans? With Charles, we circled back and forth on the need to “give up all the other world’s except for the one which we belong to” and living fully, passionately and purposefully. With Vivian, we explored culture shock and the large-heartedness of Nigerians. With Sada, we explore the nostalgia of our worlds and how we carry that into new places, and allowing our city to write themselves through us.
Beginning writers are here, and they have fascinating worlds to share with us.