Makewana’s Daughters are in a celebratory mood after having organised their first ever national poetry/ short story competition this year.
The short story competition attracted 32 entrants, and was won by Alinafe Malonje for her story, “Chitenje”. Malonje received K50 000 for the short story, which focuses on the way the traditional chitenje cloth touches the lives of people in different ways. Patience Chilinjala came second with “Cyber Love”, a short story which focuses on the pitfalls of love inspired by social media. In third place was Faith Tsoka’s “Lily of the Sky”, a short story about a young girl’s aspirations. Chilinjala and Tsoka won K30 000 and K20 000 respectively. The short stories were judged based on characterisation, plot, theme, setting and atmosphere, language and passion.
In the poetry category, Enita Ebiyamu scooped first prize with ‘Dear Womb Man’; a poem which reflects on the multiple roles played by women in society. At number two was Sharon Kadangwe with ‘Open Secret’; focusing on the expectations made on women, whereas Tamanda Kanjaye was on third place with ‘Paint Scars’, a poem whose theme was physical abuse. Ebiyamu, Kadangwe and Kanjaye received K50 000, K30 000 and K20 000 respectively. Poems were scored for the following: originality, poetic technique, style, technical accuracy and overall reading experience. The poetry category attracted 37 entrants.
Funding for both the poems and the short stories was made possible through personal funding from Asbjørn Eidhammer, former Norwegian ambassador to Malawi.
The poems and short stories were judged by a panel of five; Professor Mpalive Msiska, Ms.Kafula Mwila, Dr. Asante Mtenje, Dr Naomi Nyasoko Msusa and Mr Shadreck Chikoti. Professor Msiska is Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck University, and is also judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Mwila is a writer and CEO of Blacksmith Publishers in Lusaka. Dr Mtenje is a writer, Senior Lecturer and Head of English at Chancellor College. Dr Msusa is a writer, composer and Test Administrator at the University of Cape Town.

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