Togara Muzanenhamo walks away with a cash prize of $1,000.
By Hope Ibiale
Zimbabwean poet, Togara Muzanenhamo’s third poetry collection, Virga, has been named the winner of the 2022 Luschei Prize for African Poetry by the African Poetry Book Fund.
The Luschei Prize for African Poetry, funded by literary philanthropist, poet, publisher, and businesswoman, Glenna Luschei, is the only pan-African book prize of its kind. The prize was created to promote African poetry written in English, or translations, and recognises a significant book published annually by an African poet. Some previous prize winners have been Maneo Refiloe Mohale, Kobus Moolman, Rethabile Masilo, and many others.
While accepting the $1,000 cash prize, Muzanenhamo said, “Many thanks to Ms Glenna Luschei, Kwame Dawes, and the African Poetry Book Fund.”
Matthew Shenoda, the judge for this year’s Luschei Prize, stated, “Virga by Togara Muzanenhamo is a collection of poems that reify an age-old truth: the past is not past; and like the elements we experience, the events that once were, linger in the air we occupy now. Borderless in his interests, Muzanenhamo explores moments both intimate and public, known and unknown, staking claim to the expansive notions of what it means to be of or from a place. Muzanenhamo’s poems travel like the weather and show the ways both ‘here’ and ‘there’ are always present. He is a poet with a broad gift for craft and a thinking that resists being placed in any single frame.”
Togara Muzanenhamo is a poet and journalist. He was born to Zimbabwean parents in Zambia. He was raised in Zimbabwe and later studied in France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. His works have appeared in magazines in Europe, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Muzanenhamo has published two collections of poetry, such as Spirit Brides (2006), and Gumiguru (2014). He has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.