Time to shine for ghetto writers
In a bid to get the creative juices flowing in Francistown, Monarch Community Development Project and Ndinkodu Creatives are joining forces to launch a creative writing competition.
With a 500-word limit and P500 up for grabs, the short story comp is open to all ages and will run from this Friday (23 October) until the 27 November.
In an inspired twist, writers will be able to choose between English, Setswana and Kalanga, as organisers strive to ‘promote a culture of our own literature’.
However, all entries must be in line with the theme, ‘Survival of the Fittest’.
Speaking to Voice Entertainment this week, the brains behind the event, 32-year-old Lebo Tsiaka explained the topic was inspired by the impact Covid-19 has had on people’s lives.
“This is especially true for the entertainment industry, which as we all know has been hit hard by the pandemic. Youth businesses are also not doing well right now, and we want to tap into another market that has a lot of potentials to be groomed: literature and writing,” stated the founder of Ndinkodu Creatives, a youth social consulting company based in the second city’s Monarch location.
Tsiaka further noted the initiative is aimed at developing literary talent in Francistown.
“We don’t have much at the moment in terms of literature. Yes, there’s a lot of talented rappers who are great lyricists but as for notable novelists, there’s hardly any!
“Ultimately we want to promote a culture of reading and writing and generate an interest in literature,” continued Tsiaka, who moved back to Ghetto recently and saw this as a way of giving back to the community that raised her.
As well as the P500 cash prize that awaits the winning entry, Tsiaka hopes to compile all the stories and publish them as a book.
For that to happen though, she needs assistance.
“I’m appealing to all publishing houses to help out if they can. I see this as the first step towards eventually building a community library. I want to print the stories so people can have access to their own writing,” said the bubbly youth, her eyes glazing over as she imagines her vision come true.
In keeping with Covid-19 regulations, the competition will be an online affair, with contestants able to submit their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We wanted to limit physical contact as much as possible. We were also keen to keep in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution,” giggled Tsiaka, who intends to run similar initiatives in the future.