Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is the winner of the 2009 Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo Short Story Competition. Her heartrending story You in Paradise won the judges hearts and beat a strong list of contenders for this year's prize.
The second prize went to Fungai Tichawangana and third prize was won by Violette Kee-Tui.
Novuyo’s You in Paradise tells of a young Zimbabwean woman’s experiences in South Africa, with the police, with xenophobia, and with Obi, the Nigerian with ‘diamonds drooping from his ears’. Novuyo has been published before, with four of her short stories in the ’amaBooks collection Silent Cry: Echoes of Young Voices and has had stories accepted in two other collections.
Fungai Tichawangana’s story, entitled Ting! Ta-ling! Ta-ling!, is a humorous piece about a bus journey where the ‘fat lady in the front seat would not stop talking’. Eventually, she faints and cannot be awoken, but then her cell-phone rings, from inside her bra...
Violette Kee-Tu’s piece is a powerful account of the relationship between two sisters, as one of them develops a brain tumour.
The other writers shortlisted for the competition were Memory Chirere, Melusi Mkandla, Farai Mpofu, Urayayi Msarire, Thamsanqa Ncube, Babusi Nyoni and Mgcini Nyoni
The judges commented: "The overall standard of the stories submitted was very high, with entries from across Zimbabwe and from both well known and budding writers. The entries were varied, some being topical, some humorous and others emotionally charged. It was a hard task judging the competition with little between those short-listed. It is encouraging to see such good writing in Zimbabwe and it bodes well for the future."