Rhodasi Mwale was announced the winner of the Kalemba Short Story Prize 2020 on September 7, 2020.
The Kalemba Short Story Prize is awarded annually to the best work of original and unpublished short fiction written in English by a Zambian administered and funded by Ukusefya Words. Previous winners have been Mali Kambandu (2018) and Mubanga Kalimamukwento (2019).
The judges for the 2020 edition are Ellen Banda-Aaku who chairs alongside Masande Ntshanga, Remy Ngamije, and 2018 winner Mali Kambandu. This judging panel announced the longlist for the Zambia-based prize on August 22 before revealing the shortlist on September 1.
The winner of the prize was announced today as Rhodasi Mwale for the short story If It Ain’t Broke which revolves around a protagonist struggling with depression and mental problems. Mwale, 31, is a Biomedical Scientist and student of infectious diseases at the University of Zambia.
On winning the prize she said, “Just being shortlisted is everything because it means that I do belong on the African market. There is such a profundity to African literature that I’ve always felt that my voice is a tad too informal, my prose too simplistic for the market.”
A native of Kabwe Town, Mwale will be presented with the award and her US$1,000 cash prize at a special ceremony to be held in Lusaka in October.