BY SAM BANDA JNR:
Female poet Grace Sharra has made it to the Babishai 2018 shortlist.
This comes barely three weeks after she made the Babishai 2018 Longlist dominated by East and West Africa.
In an email dated July 23 2018, Babishai Poetry Foundation Director, Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, has congratulated Sharra for making the shortlist.
“May I, on behalf of the Babishai Poetry Foundation, take this opportunity to congratulate you on [being on] the #Babishai2018 shortlist. You are our first shortlisted poet from Malawi. A huge congratulations,” Nsengiyunva said.
Nsengiyunva, who is a Ugandan poet and performed in the country during an event organised by Pen Malawi, said Sharra’s poem ‘My Letter to You’, impressed with for its theme, composition and inventiveness.
The shortlist has been dominated by Nigeria, with other poets coming from Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
The winner will be unveiled during the Babishai Poetry Festival which takes place from August 3 to 6 2018.
However, Nsengiyunva, said they were unable to cover travel costs for the festival for poets.
Sharra yesterday said she was happy to make the shortlist and hopes she comes to as a winner.
“I didn’t see this coming but I am happy to represent Malawi on the shortlist,” she said.
Nsengiyunva said the Babishai 2018 shortlist is like the tip of molten lava and that it is an eruption of the usual poetry and an assortment of some of the finest poetry.
The shortlist was made by a team of judges which include the country’s poet Alfred Msadala, Rehema Nanfuka from Uganda and Remi Raj from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Sharra has sounded an SOS, calling for support to attend the festival.
“I need a total of $2,000 for, among others, air ticket, accommodation and meals,” she said.