Arts & PhotographyZimbabwe

Zimbabwean writer nominated for a BET network award

By Tatenda Marwodzi

Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah has been nominated for yet another international award for her literary work. The US based BET Network NAACP Image Awards has listed her book, Out of Darkness Shining Light for outstanding literary fiction. Gappah shares the same nomination with international authors Margaret Busby, Jacqueline Woodson, Margaret Wilkerson and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

If she wins the award she will be the first Zimbabwean to ever win a category which has only ever been won by African greats Kenyan Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and South African Zakes Mda. Gappah however is not new to international awards. In 2016, she was named African Literary Person of the Year by Brittle Paper. Her first ever work of fiction, An Elegy for Easterly, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the Orwell Prize.

Petina Gappah writes fictional stories based on life in Zimbabwe. Her work is heavily influenced by Shona, her mother language although she writes in English. She grew up reading literary works by Zimbabwean authors Mordekai Hamutyinei, Joyce Simango, T Tzodzo and many others.

The author has expressed joy saying she is bowled over to have her work nominated for the NAACP award.

The NAACP award ceremony will be aired by BET Network on the 20th of February.

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