MZUZU--In what can be described as a new chapter in the history of the writing industry in Malawi after the generation of Jack Mapanje, Felix Munthali, David Rubadiri, Steve Chimombo and others, 18-year-old Pius Nyondo has just ushered in great hope to the industry by becoming Malawi´s youngest novelist with the publication of his book, a novella titled " Lions from the South".
The novella, which was completed when he was sixteen and has been published by Balaka based Montfort Media, is a story set around a certain uranium mine and tackles issues of political dishonesty as spearheaded by politicians; evils that come along with industrialization and how innocent and beautiful cultures get eroded with the coming of such developments.
Said Nyondo in an exclusive interview with MaraPost: "I am a committed writer determined to change my society for the better. I always look at life and I always discover things that I can share with others through my pen and paper. Creative writers have done a lot for this country in the past by fighting the one party era and advocating for multiparty democracy. I think writers must continue to help in correcting the ills and mishaps that are prevailing in our Malawian and African societies."
The soft-spoken young writer also said he has a strong belief that by their nature, creative writers are activists who must always stand up to challenge any oppressive tendencies in their societies.
Apart from this rare achievement, Nyondo is also a published short story writer and poet of national and international repute. He has published several short stories in the country´s print media and also on the international online publication authorme.com. In 2011, Nyondo was the youngest poet anthologised in The Time Traveller of Maravi, a collection of new poetry from Malawi which features seasoned and up-and-coming poets.
Nyondo, who also sits in as The Budding Writers Desk national coordinator in the country´s major writers block, Malawi Writers Union (Mawu), says he hopes that the publication of his book will inspire more young men and women in Malawi.
“I have been able to publish because several people have inspired me. And for me, I have been immensely inspired by fellow young writers in the names of Temwani Mgunda, Shadreck Chikoti and Stanley Kenani who are Malawians and several other young writers across Africa. I hope the same will happen to other budding writers across Africa," said Nyondo. "As Budding Writers’ Desk coordinator, my job is to solely motivate young people so that they can take writing seriously. And I am very hopeful that my book will do just that."
He said he intends to launch his book in phases, beginning with selected secondary schools and all universities in the country before a grand launch in early March next year.
According to our sources Shadreck Chikoti, youngest Malawian publisher and author of more than eight books was previously the youngest Malawian author after he had published his first book at the age of 22, and on the African scale, South Africa´s Khulukani Magumane and Andy Petersen are some of the youngest African authors the former having published 17 books at the age of 22 and the latter having published his first novel at the age of 16.
And in an emailed response to a questionnaire by MaraPost, president of Malawi Writers Union, Sambalikagwa Mvona, said that the publication of Pius´ novella is timely and renders a great sense of pride to the writing fraternity in Malawi.
“The young man [Pius Nyondo] is very ambitious. I have seen him move from one step to another in his writing pursuits with great ease, and as a union we are very proud to have him,´´ said Mvona.
The 64-paged novella will be distributed across the bookshops in Malawi and is going at a price of K1000 (about $4).
(c) The Marai Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited.