Versatile local poet, songwriter and author Chirikure Chirikure was recently appointed as a member of the Caine Prize 2012 judging panel.
The panel will be chaired by author and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Bernardine Evaristo and joining her together with Chirikure are London-based award-winning cultural journalist Maya Jaggi, Associate Professor at Georgetown University Samantha Pinto and Sudanese award-winning CNN television correspondent Nima Elbagir.
It is a great honour to be given such great responsibility and to be accorded an opportunity to make a contribution in the development of literature in Africa, said Chirikure.
He said in a lot of ways his selection was icing on the cake of the few things he had done as an artist in Zimbabwe and on the international platform.
Chirikure said having worked over the past years as a publisher, writer, performance poet and cultural consultant, his appointment was a welcome opportunity to use his experience for the benefit of the young and upcoming writers.
This year 122 qualifying stories have been submitted to the judges from 14 African countries and the judges are set to assemble in early May to decide on the shortlisted stories, which will be announced shortly thereafter.
The winning story will be announced at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford on July 2.
I am currently on a fellowship in Berlin, Germany, and despite the distance we keep flying our national flag high, with pride, said Chirikure.
Last year the countrys flag was also raised high as the Caine Prize, described as Africas leading literary award, was won by Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo.
Chikure published a book in Germany last year, which is a collection of his new poems and also released his latest album Chisina Basa, which is being marketed and distributed by Metro Studios.