Story Club, which was founded by writer Shadreck Chikoti continues to make positive steps aimed at propelling arts in the country as it is coming up with several activities next month, including hosting Zimbabwean writer and film maker Tsitsi Dangarembga.
Story Club is hosting the writer who is expected to speak on literature having also hosted South African author Shafinaaz Hassim two months ago.
Chikoti, who is the 2014 Peer Gynt Award winner revealed that they have two events next month with the biggest one being the hosting of Tsitsi on July 26.
“Tsitsi will come to speak on literature. On this day we will also have a talk from visual artist Elson Kambalu on his recent award, winning film. He will also exhibit his artworks. There will also be a professor from Miami University who will speak on the topic, ‘Art is a tool for social change,” said Chikoti.
He said before the July 26 events, Story Club will also hold a one, dayworkshop on July 8 which has been organised by Short Story Day Africa adding that Short Story Day Africa is running a short story prizeunder the theme of water.
“Eight writers will sit in this workshop. We have facilitators in the name of Shadreck Chikoti (myself), Brooke Marshall, Michael Phoya and Tiseke Chilima who will help the writers walk through their stories sothat they match with the required standard,” said Chikoti.
He said the stories will be submitted to Short Story Day Africa’s competition by July 31 which is the deadline.
On the coming of Tsitsi, Chikoti said it was a priviledge for them to host the writer saying her coming will strengthen the link between Malawi and Zimbabwe.
“This is just a testimony to the Story Club’s quest for international exposure of writers and presence on the African literary scene. There is so much happening in the region, which would help us to grow, but we are not in touch. We need to open our doors to the outside world and link up with collegues in the region,” said chikoti.
According to available information, at the age of 25, Tsitsi had her first taste of success with her novel Nervous Conditions, which won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989 and is considered one of the twelve best African novels ever written.
Chikoti also called on fellow writers in the country to dig deeper and widen their net and aim at conquering the international platform.
The writer has just returned from a trip in Bayreauth, Germany, where he went to read, facilitate and participate in the 2015 ALA festival.
“I read alongside Nnedi Okorafor, one of the pioneers of African fantasy and sci-fi literature. Nnedi won the World Fantasy Award with her novel, Who Fears Death so I felt very happy to be there and fly the country’s flag.
So this is why as Story Club we are coming up with several activities aimed at equipping writers. We want to uplift writers by equipping them with skills that will make them visible internationally. We want to celebrate and popularise art,” he said.
Chikoti further said that they want to reach out with art but also to celebrate it for its own sake.
“As I said earlier it’s a priviledge to host Tsitsi. Every university that teaches African literature in the world can never do so without Tsitsi’s text,” he said.
Last year in November, Story Club also pooled together several local writers in the capital city, Lilongwe during an international writing workshop.