Mali Kambandu wins inaugural Kalemba prize

Mali Kambandu

Mali Kambandu has won the inaugural Kalemba Short Story Prize for her short story, described as “gripping and beautifully told’ by Judges.

The $1000 award is for the best work of original and unpublished short fiction written in English.

Kambandu, won for The hand to hold, which can be downloaded here. The story centers around a middle class family whose fragile bond is threatened by the resurfacing of their former house maid. It weaves the themes of class, loyalty, sacrifice and love in contemporary Zambia.
“She looks around the table and can barely remember a happy moment with these women who are helping her plan the happiest moments in her life.” She writes “Family meals are virtually non-existent, but the dining table is the centre of their home”.

A graduate of Huntingdon College, Pennsylvania, Kambandu was exposed to literature from an early age “My parents bought us many books – classics and pop culture novels – and encouraged me, my brother and three sisters to read” she said. “At a young age, I read books which my older sisters were reading – novels by Alice Walker and Toni Morrison”. But it was at high school where she read her most cherished book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Winning the prize, she said, is an honour and affirmation. “The fact that it’s a Zambian award makes it so much more meaningful” said Kambandu, who will be presented with the award at a special ceremony to be held in Lusaka next month.

Kambandu’s story beat five others to win the prize including by prolific and award winning writer Peter Nawa, A degree of Alone,17year old Sampa Musaba’s The Mango Tree and Kabwe based Andrew Nguvu’s God of the mind. Others are The legacy of Moombe by Mutinta Nanchengwa (happy birthday) and A broken road in Utopia by Livingstone based writer Chanda Chongo. A total of 317 stories competed for the 2018 Kalemba Prize.

The judging panel, chaired by Kenyan novelist and Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, described the story as “a dark, yet gripping read, a surprising, beautifully told story that centers the voices that we often think of as living on the margins” said the judges “We were moved by this story about domestic workers and the ties that bind them to the very same families that discard them. Ngugi was joined on the panel by award winning Zambian writer Namwali Serpell – winner of the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing; blogger, scholar and founder of the influential Brittlepaper.com Ainehi Edoro and the inimitable Mulenga Kapwepwe, Zambian writer and cultural icon.

Kambandu had a stint writing screenplays in the US before returning to Zambia a few years ago. She has written short films, documentaries and feature films, including Ulendo wa Rose, Old-time Love, Long-time Love and The President’s Job Description.

She works and lives in Lusaka with her husband, two kids, two dogs, toys and plenty of books. When not writing, she is reading stories to her children.

The Kalemba Prize is a home-grown initiative celebrating Zambian writing. It is funded and administered by Ukusefya WORDS, publishers of the national bestselling book Insoselo na Mapinda.

The 2019 Kalemba Prize will open later in the year.

Join us on our vibrant Facebook page and please follow our nascent Twitter page for updates.

 

2018 KSSP shortlist announcement

The winner of the 2018 Kalemba Short Story Prize will be announced on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
The Prize comes with USD1000 cash.

In no particular order, the six final entries are:
1. A broken road in utopia – Chanda Chongo
2. A degree of alone – Peter Nawa
3. God of the mind – Andrew Nguvu
4. The mango tree – Sampa Musaba
5. A hand to hold – Mali Kambandu
6. The legacy of Moombe – Mutinta Nanchengwa

The judges described the short listed stories as “gripping, lyrical, exciting, at times dark but lovely” all in all showcasing “raw talent” as they deal with love, alienation, betrayal, race, contamination and various forms of resistance.

The judges – a panel of four internationally acclaimed and award winning authors, publishers and scholars -are Mukoma wa Ngugi, Namwali Serpell, Ainehi Edoro and Mulenga Kapwepwe.


Join us on our vibrant Facebook page and please follow us on Twitter

Collages-0013

Announcing the KSSP 2018 shortlist

Congratulations to our six writers for making the short-list.

The judges described the short listed stories as “gripping, lyrical, exciting, at times dark but lovely” all in all showcasing “raw talent” as they deal with love, alienation, betrayal, race, contamination and various forms of resistance.

The judges – a panel of four internationally acclaimed and award winning authors, publishers and scholars -are Mukoma wa Ngugi, Namwali Serpell, Ainehi Edoro and Mulenga Kapwepwe.

In no particular order, the six final entries are:

1. A broken road in utopia – Chanda Chongo
2. A degree of alone – Peter Nawa
3. God of the mind – Andrew Nguvu
4. The mango tree – Sampa Musaba
5. A hand to hold – Mali Kambandu
6. The legacy of Moombe – Mutinta Nanchengwa

Join us on our vibrant Facebook page and please follow us on Twitter

img_1356

Kalemba Short-Story Prize 2018 longlist

Kalemba Short-Story Prize 2018 longlist

Congratulations to those who have made it on this List
Our sincere gratitude and love to every single entrant, including those whose names do not appear on the long-list. Do not stop writing, KSSP 2019 will be even bigger.

Follow us on twitter – we are new – @kalembaPrize and our vibrant FB page

Down to 50 entries

Although we are running beyond our timeline, we have made significant progress. Its tempting to give a date, but we will resist. What we can tell you for sure, is that 78 percent of the work has been done.

We understand the anxiety and even frustration by entrants, but it will be worth it.
For this, we sincerely apologize, and are learning lessons which will improve the administration of the 2019 and future prizes.

That being said, we have ensured that each entry, each story has been given the best shot at being selected to the next stage through a meticulous and vigorous process using a set criteria.

We are down to 50 entries from 317. Fifty entries; each unique, strong with an equal chance to advance to the next stage.

We are now busy with the long-list of 30. We will be publishing the 30 long-listed entries here and other platforms. We will also communicate directly to each of the 30 entrants.

The prize remains USD1000 cash to the winner.

Then, we have an exciting development which we will announce together with the short-list.

Twalumba, once more, for your patience. If you have questions, issues (not addressed in this update) please ask.

Join us on our vibrant Facebook page and please follow us on Twitter

 

Introducing the 2018 KSSP panel of Judges

Desktop2-001

The 2018 KSSP closed on 15 December 2017 with 317 entries, exceeding our expectations.
Congratulations to all the entrants!

We are privileged to announce our distinguished panel of four judges, a combined team of internationally acclaimed and award winning authors, publishers and scholars – Mukoma wa Ngugi, Namwali Serpell, Ainehi Edoro and Mulenga Kapwepwe.  

The entries will be judged on imagination, verbal skills, originality and style (See earlier post for details)

A long-list of 30 and subsequent short-list of 5 entries will be announced in February.

Other details will follow.

Good luck to all the entrants.

Join us on our vibrant Facebook page and please follow us on Twitter