- Category: PA 2007
Stanley Onjezani Kenani was born in the Lundazi district of Zambia in 1976. A chartered accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and a holder of a bachelor's degree in Accountancy from the University of Malawi , Kenani began writing stories and poems at the age of thirteen, and has now been published in many parts of the world and in many languages.
His short story, ‘ For Honour' , won third prize in the SA PEN HSBC Literary Award 2007. Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee who picked it as one of the winning stories described it as "deceptively simple" but tackling the issue of AIDS in a very subtle and creative way.
Kenani has performed his poetry at the Arts Alive Festival ( Johannesburg ), Harare International Festival of the Arts ( Zimbabwe ) and at the prestigious Struga Poetry Evenings in Struga , Macedonia . Later this year, he is scheduled to perform in Scotland at the invitation of the British Council.
Kenani's poetry collection Slaughterhouse of Sanity is being translated into Dutch and also being considered for publication in the United States . A member of the SA PEN and a former president of the Malawi Writers' Union , Kenani is motivated by events surrounding him such as AIDS, poverty and the many challenges an average African faces in his life. He is greatly inspired by the Malawian poet and scholar and one-time political prisoner, Jack Mapanje.
Kenani's poetry, which strives to match the rhythm of an African's life, is a mesh of metaphors, folklore and song. He believes “that poetry is a breath into the life of the world, and that poets must be listened to as they tackle.