Christopher Mlalazi Wins the NAMA

Zimbabwe has ceased to make sense to most people. They have wondered how people could exist in a country where the perecentage of inflation is in the billions, and bread costs millions. Economists don’t even understand in what ways Zimbabwe is a useful case study anymore.

 But there is one place you can always count on to understand a people and the situation they are going through–that place is literature. Already there are signs that the world will be gripped by Zimbabwean literature, understanding for the first time the dynamics of a dire situation.

One writer who has arisen out of this situation is Chrisopher Mlalazi, whose stories catalogue Zimbabwe’s hard hours. His short story collection, “Dancing with Life and Other Stories”, published by aMabooks, has won the highest literary Award in Zimbabwe, the NAMA (National Arts Merit Award) for best first published book.

More developments are occuring in Zimbabwean literature. Faber (UK) and FSG (USA) gave a joint book deal to Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah, a lawayer based in Geneva, whose stories portray contemporary life in Zimbabwe. Another writer, Brian Chikwava, who is based in the UK, has published, with Random House, a novel entitled Harare North, which deals with the struggles of Zimbabwe in the UK.

There are more works too, works that openly are an indictment of failed governance, and others that celebrate life even where it seems impossible.


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