Memory Chirere's "Bhuku Risina Basa Nekuti Rakanyorwa" on Saturday won the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) accolade for the Outstanding Fiction Book, affirming the dominance of local languages in the category.
Chirere's debut poetry anthology was closely contested by Emmanuel Sigauke's short story collection "Mukoma's Marriage and Other Stories" and Weaver Press's multi-authored "Writing Lives".
"Bhuku Risina Basa" is a light-hearted collection minted with familiar images, everyday language and incisive insight into some of life's ironies.
The anthology comprises 68, mostly short poems stylistically traceable to Chirere for his painstaking simplicity, humour, understatement, musical effects and flippant brevity.
"Bhuku Risina Basa" is the second title from the newly incepted Bhabhu Books to land the prize.
Bhabhu Books founder and editor Ignatius Mabasa told Herald Entertainment that his stable remains committed to the promotion of local languages and the to the celebration of the wealth, philosophy and beauty which inheres in the languages.
"It is only through telling new compelling stories that we will make Shona and other indigenous languages remain relevant," Mabasa said.
Indigenous titles which have previously won in the category include Chirere's collection "Tudikidiki", Felix Manyimbiri's "Mudzimu Wakupe Chironda" and Ignatius Mabasa's "Imbwa Yemunhu" and "Ndafa Here?"