The Kalemba Prize for the 2019 Short Story is open for submissions until
15 December, 2018
Please read eligibility and entry rules carefully
15 October – 15 December 2018
Note: All entries are through this online form which will be activated on 15 Oct & automatically deactivated on 15 Dec.
About the Prize
You can download the guidelines HERE
The Kalemba Prize will open submissions for the 2019 short story Prize from October 15 – December 15, 2018.
One of the top stories from the 2018 Kalemba Prize is God of the Mind. Read it here
Andrew Nguvu weaves a multilayered thriller with effortless wit, imagination, and honesty.
A thought-provoking page-turner, God of the Mind, is at the centre of contemporary Zambian culture and religion.
Nguvu, a larger than life personality, masterfully and fearlessly tackles faith, religion, God, and reason through the lens of a pastor and his family, plagued by a devastating epidemic.
“It was a rainy night in October; at the junction of Chilimbulu road and Mosi-o-tunya road, the stage was set, and the Woodlands Stadium in the densely populated suburb of Woodlands was bursting at the seams with ecstatic crowds that gathered for the themed Zambia Miracle Healing Night,” writes Nguvu.
“Large crowds thronged the stadium as people clamored for the tight space not wanting to miss a touch from God. Amid the euphoria, prophet Sylvester Chishimba, trotted up the stage, raising the dynamic microphone he shouted, ‘Zambia you are blessed!’”
Nguvi, an avid reader, started writing as a teenager. He lists among his writing influences, Mwila Readith Muliyunda (RIP), Niccolo Machiavelli, Jim Collins, Gilbert Banda, Haruki Murakami, Arther Golden, Eric Ries, JK Rowling and Dan Brown. The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli, is one of his all-time favourite reads.
The Kabwe based writer is an alumnus of Mulungushi University and a seasoned entrepreneur with an enviable portfolio ranging from wildlife ranching, crocodile conservation, crop farming to livestock rearing, goat and crocodile leather tanning. Others include fish farming, hospitality and accommodation.
Kalemba Prize is proud to be associated with this talented storyteller.
A broken road in Utopia is arguably the most lyrical and poetic entry in the 2018 Kalemba Short Story Prize.
It’s one thing to lace a story with a touch of poetry, but a whole different ball game to pen an entire tale in lyrical poetic prose without losing the storyline. 20 year old Chanda Chongo does just that with his beautiful and heart-rending short-story, A broken road in Utopia, readable here.
Chongo weaves a compelling narrative of a young boy whose life turns upside down after the loss of his love; his mother, followed by his idol; his father. Uprooted from his village and confronted with a new life in the city – streets – he relies on his father’s wisdom to survive.
“We did not know much about school in my village; education was a ghost that journeyed beyond our mango-tree fence. Traditional teachings and superstitions were much more relevant to our daily living,” writes Chongo.
“My mother never knew how to spell sadness, she wasn’t illiterate; she carried in her heart a balm full of happiness. Father taught me how to break a dirge into a verse, a chapter, and finally into a book if he’s shadow lost its way back home because life was an unpredictable game in my village and people sometimes simply disappeared never to return,” he writes.
Chongo has been writing from a very young age and credits his late mother as one of his most significant influence on his writings.
“I’ve got so much love for African literature, and I find it hard to have an all-time favorite author, but Chinua Achebe is one legend whose works I’ve come to admire most, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie too, she’s dynamite,” he says.
On the books that have left an indelible mark “Weep Not Child, Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s stunning book, the kind of writing style portrayed in the book is entirely exceptional.”
On being shortlisted for the Kalemba prize, “KSSP isn’t just about the prize package itself, but an opportunity to rocket Zambia’s literary works on the African space and the world” [Thank-you Chongo, we love your winning attitude and looking forward to working with you in the nearest future].
Chongo has an admirable body of works some of which have appeared in a number of anthologies and other platforms including Spill words magazine, Enclave, Youth Shades, Tuneworth and Lunaris Review.
The Livingstone based writer is also a Journalist at radio Mosi-O-Tunya and Alliance for Community Action. He doubles as a peer educator at Young Men Christian Association and the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia.
At 22 years, Mutinta Nanchengwa’s writing is as good as that of any accomplished writer.
Her story the Legacy of Moombe is timeless stuff and is downloadable here
Mutinta weaves a compelling narrative of Africa’s undoing; power and greed. Her story is a rare glimpse into a State machinery under capture by a powerful and ruthless family: the Moombes. So powerful so much so that with a single text message, they can remove a President from power.
“The legacy of theft never really left us. We just found more efficient ways to steal. Every member of the family had a role to play” she writes “We will mark this as a loss, and we continue as if Malindi never existed. His widow will be comfortable, and we shall move on,“ he said harshly. “We will be remembered for our greed.”
Writing has always been a part of Nanchengwa who grew up and went to school in Harare, Zimbabwe.
“The earliest influence on my writing was J.K Rowling with the Harry Potter series, she will always be one of my all-time favorite authors,” she says. “However, the two books that made the biggest impact on my life and shaped my writing style are Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.”
A student pursuing a degree in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Zambia, Mutinta is a writer and content curator at Vodafone Jump.
This young writer is no ordinary mind, and we at Kalemba Prize have her on our radar.
Some people are skilled writers. Others are gifted storytellers. Peter Nawa is both.
With several awards and a book under his name, meet one of Zambia’s literary raw talent. His short story, A Degree of Alone shortlisted for the 2018 Kalemba prize is in one word, incredible! If you haven’t read it yet, do so as a matter of urgency – its downloadable here.
A degree of alone tells a story of Jojo, a first-grader who discovers he is different on the first day at school. A heart-rending story – beautiful, sad and funny all in one. It explores with subtlety the inherent discrimination and isolation of others by society because they are different.
“Jojo sat in awkward silence, trying to figure out what to do next. He had never seen so many children in one space before” writes Nawa. “Can we see your hands?” a girl with thick braids asked. Jojo found this request odd but somehow found himself stretching his hands toward the band of girls, as if waiting to receive a birthday present.”
Nawa, an alumnus of UNZA and University of Sussex, is also a Chartered Accountant. He runs a blog – Diary of a Frustrated Brotha – discussing mental illness, gender violence, and alcoholism among others. His book Hired – Find the Job, Keep the Job and Quit the Job – is available on Amazon.
Asked about his writing influences, “I would say it’s my father, who encouraged me to read from an early age. Then from there, I tried to write stories similar to what I was reading. Also, the books I read influence my writing” he said.
A John Grisham enthusiast “His novels almost made me study law. The way he weaves his stories always intrigues me.”
He names Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart by as the book that left an indelible mark on him.
Nawa is working on his first novel.