Bulawayo based author, Philani Nyoni has been shortlisted for the 2018 African Writers Award for his short story, “Celestial Incest”.
The African Writers Award is annually hosted by African Development Trust and the award is given to writers of African descent with stories that are unique, impactful and thought-provoking.
Nyoni is the only Zimbabwean shortlisted for the award.
In an interview with CITE, Nyoni said he feels honoured for being nominated among some of Africa’s finest writers.
“I am really stoked about it. But it’s a bitter-sweet moment because the person who inspired it and would threaten me with all sorts of hell if I didn’t share the spoils is no longer with us,” said Nyoni.
Nyoni is nominated with other nine authors from Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia.
Asked on what motivated him to submit his story, Nyoni said he wanted to honour the memory of someone close to his heart.
“I wanted to honour the memory of a wonderful soul who is no longer with us. She was the inspiration behind the story,” he said.
The short story is a piece of sci-fi/speculative writing about a tantric encounter between two celestial beings from a distant time and place who meet on earth.
Nyoni started his writing journey more than twenty years and so far has achieved milestones which include First class poetry 2006 Girls College Literary Competition, Honours for Poetry Girls’ College Literary Competition 2007, Best Poem for ‘Shakespeare’, Girls’ College Literary Competition 2007, Outstanding first creative work (NAMA, 2013 for Once A Lover Always A Fool), Outstanding Poet (NAMA 2016), Special Mention for Mars His Sword, ‘Outstanding Work of Fiction, NAMA 2017) and Outstanding Literary Work for Mars His Sword, BAA 2017.
Nyoni also co-wrote and narrated the award winning short film ‘Jane The Ghost’
The awards will be presented at the 2018 African Writers Conference dinner December 1, 2018 at a venue to be communicated.