Philani Nyoni
BornPhilani Amadeus Nyoni
  • Author
Known forBeing an Author

Philani Amadeus Nyoni is an award winning Zimbabwean author. He holds the world record for the most Shakespearen in a manuscript.


In an interview he states that he first became interested in writing at the age of ten. He said:

I was wooed at an early age; in fact, I can remember the first time I said it out aloud that I wanted to write. I was ten talking to Babili.

A year after his O Levels he won First Class for poetry in the Girls College Literary (inter-schools) Competition. The following year he won Honours and the Best Poem award in the seniors category for a poerm called Shakespeare.

He said he wrote his first poem five years later based on a dream he had had. When he started writing his first book Once a lover, always a fool he was writing a long letter to a lover. He would write one or three poems about her which became the source for The Light Pages. He took three years to write the material but took three months to turn it into a book. Part of the book's first section were once distributed in a pamphlet called My Love In Black and White which he turned into Once a lover, always a fool. [1]

In 2010 he co-wrote and acted in Cletus Moyo’s stage-play titled And Now We Speak. He also took part in the Drama For Life Festival in South Africa where he was part of the A Lover And Another Poetry Challenge. After the regional slams he went on to represent Gauteng in the national championships.

In 2011 he co-wrote an opening act with Simo Mpapa-Majola for the festival. In that year he also featured in Lindela, a short film written and directed by Lilly Million about Lindela camp in South Africa where illegal immigrants are held before being deported to their respective countries.

In 2012 he was part of the team that resurrected Mlom’ Wakho Poetry Slams in Bulawayo which was the second poetry slam in Zimbabwe after House Of Hunger in Harare. In that year he also represented Zimbabwe in the Breaking Barriers International Poetry Slam held in Harare during the Shoko Festival as well as performing at the acclaimed Intwasa Festival. He also published his first book, a collection of poetry titled, Once A Lover Always A Fool. The book was honoured at the 2013 edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Zimbabwe) in the Outstanding First Creative Published Work category.

He has published several short-stories in newspapers and shared his works at universities like the University of Witwatersrand, the University of Johannesburg (both in South Africa) and Midlands State University.

He has been working with the Regional Centre for Social Responsibility since February 2013. His writings on Corporate Social Responsibility have been published in The Financial Gazette and the Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe Magazine. In 2013 he was said to be concluding his first stage play, Blood Of A Slave and in 2014 he published a book titled Hewn From Rock which is a collaborative effort with multi-award winning writer and Head of English Department at Christian Brothers’ College, John Eppel.[2]


  • Once a lover, always a fool (2011)
  • Mars his sword.[1]
  • Hewn From Rock (2014)



His short story The Sonneteer was selected for a 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing Anthology. He has also won the 2016 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). He also set a new World Record of the Most Shakesperean Sonnets in a Manuscript. When William Shakespeare died at the age of 52, his collection had 153 sonnets, Nyoni has written 306.[1] His book Once a lover, always a fool was honoured at the 2013 edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Zimbabwe) in the Outstanding First Creative Published Work category.[2]

He was nominated for the Outstanding Actor in a Film in the 2015 edition of the National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA). Nyoni starred in the local film Production Qiniso which was released in 2015. [3]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dorcas Gwata, On African Poetry and Life: Exclusive with Philani Amadeus Nyoni (PAN, published: April 10, 2016, retrieved: April 19, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Short Story by Philani Amadeus Nyoni, Munyori Literary Journal, published: July 19, 2013, retrieved: April 19, 2017
  3. Philani A Nyoni Now a World Record Holder Urban Culxure, published: August 24, 2015, retrieved: April 19, 2017