Cultural issues and corruption stole the limelight on Friday evening during a story telling session at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre.
The session, which featured five writers, had an impressive and interactive audience.
The writers—Isaac Fanuel, OJ Hara, Dingaan Mithi, Mtamandeni Chatsa and Victoria Machilika—took turns to narrate their stories to the attentive audience which comprised fellow writers, literary critics and the media, among others.
“We are happy with the outcome of the story telling session. The team of writers were both experienced and upcoming ones. The blending has been great and the audience enjoyed the stories, looking at their reactions and questions at the end,” said organiser of the event Ekari Mbvundula.
She said the sessions are aimed at giving an opportunity to fiction writers to tell their stories to their potential audiences.
“This is one way of bringing awareness about the existence of fiction writers in Malawi and a chance to improve their work based on the feedback they get from such sessions,” said Mbvundula, a writer herself.
During the session, the writers took turns to read out their stories which had different themes such as romance, feminisim, corruption, sci-fi and culture.
But it was the story from Isaac Fanuel titled ‘When the hyena came knocking’ which got the biggest reaction from the audience. It tackled the issue of fisi or hyena. It was a story about a man who was a psychologist and discovered that the boy he thought was his son was actually sired by a fisi (man hired to have sex a woman to conceive) who had turned up at his doorstep demanding his pay.
“I came up with the story to address various societal issues such as pressure from family and friends to conceive which can drive a woman to seek the services of a ‘fisi’,” said Isaac.
Another story that excited the audience was by Mithi which was a sci-fi story about a president trying to find means of stopping road accidents.
The story, which was well articulated, among others pointed out how limited sci-fi is when it comes to the human mind and how the same can be used to abuse and oppress the citizenry.
“I use sci-fi to explore so many aspects of life like road accidents. This is just an extract of a novel that I plan to publish soon. It has about 40 000 words and s ready to go to print,” said Mithi at the end of his presentation.
The next story telling session is scheduled for February 23. n