Kundai Marunya Art Correspondent
Multi-talented writer Philani Amadeus Nyoni a.k.a. Pan has been shortlisted for yet another accolade – the prestigious African Writers’ Award in the short story category. Nyoni holds the world record for the most Shakespearean sonnets in a manuscript and multiple awards in writing, poetry, acting, and film-making.
For the award he entered a short story written in dedication to a fellow poet who passed away earlier in the year. “I entered a short story called ‘Celestial Incest’. It was inspired by the late poet, Mutsa Diana Shiripinda a.k.a Rae Lyric,” he said.
Nyoni is the only Zimbabwean to be nominated for the awards that has three other categories, namely children’s lterature, poetry, and flash writing. He said he is excited about the nomination. I’m stoked about it (being shortlisted). I knew it was a great story and I’m glad someone else agrees.
“It’s a bitter sweet moment though, the one person who should be celebrating with me and threatening all sorts of hell of I don’t ‘split the bounty’ is not here anymore; at least in flesh,” said Nyoni.
Pan is confident of winning the award. “It’s a tough fight to be had, Nigeria has dominated these things for a while and two of them on the list mean it’s going to be intriguing.
“But I’ve never lost a literary nomination and I don’t intend to start now, even though it’s entirely out of my hands,” he said.
Nyoni currently holds two National Arts and Merit Awards while his short story “The Sonneteer” was selected for a 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing Anthology.