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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Zimbabwean Writer Myke Mwale For 2014 Golden Baobab Prize

Zimbabwean writer Myke Mwale has been long listed for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize. He and 6 other writers from different African countries were long-listed for the 'Picture Book Prize' category which is awarded to "the most captivating unpublished African manuscript for a picture book targeting readers aged 6-8 years".

The Picture Book Prize is one of the 6 Golden Baobab Prizes for African literature. The other prizes are for Early Chapter Book, Rising Writer, Illustrators, Rising Illustrators and Lifetime Achievement in Children's Literature. Mwale said as a writer he is motivated to write for children by the realization that the child in all of us stays forever one way or the other. "All I was striving to do was to give that child a voice and let it communicate with the other children out there - the real children and the children within most of us adults."

His long-listed story 'The Big Ball' is about a girl named Chiedza who breaks the norm of identifying activities for children through gender. This story expands his portfolio of works which have brought his writing career this far. In 2010 his play "Mandida's Shoes" got Special Mention for the BBC play writing competition. The play, which was highly praised by world-renowned writer Wole Soyinka, is about a young girl who is chosen to recite a poem at the school's open day but faces the challenge of her torn shoes. The play was broadcast on BBC the same year.

The 2014 short-list for the Golden Baobab Prizes will be announced on October 30 and winners on November 13 this year. The Golden Baobab Prizes for African literature were launched in 2008 'to inspire the creation of enthralling African children's stories by African writers. The prizes invite entries of unpublished stories written by African citizens irrespective of age, race, or country of origin.'

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