A Zambian fictional writer identified as Mbozi Haimbe has made the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2019 shortlist.
This is the first time that a Zambia is being in the annual program—now in its eighth year.
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth.
There were 5,018 submissions for the 2019 prize.
Mbozi joins 20 other writers from Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe, Caribbean, and Pacific.
The regional winners will be announced on 9 May 2019 in Québec City
Regional winners receive £2,500 (US$3,273) and the overall winner receives £5,000 (US$6,547).
Mbozi’s story is titled “Madam’s Sister” and details the arrival of madam’s sister from London that causes upheaval within the household, but has an unexpected bonus for the guard, Cephas.
“Elina, the maid, is doing her thing of standing in a nice shaded spot on the veranda from where she yells at me, while I stew in the heat. I carry on sweeping the paved front yard as though deaf, sweat trickling down my back. The flagstones are patterned with black oil stains from the cars that park here at day’s end. I pass my straw broom over these patches which refuse to be cleaned up, even with water and soap. They make me look bad; lazy,” read an excerpt from her story.
Mbozi was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia.
She completed an MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge in 2018 and is currently working on a collection of African inspired short stories.
Mbozi lives in Norfolk with her family.