The judges’ decision was unanimous. Tammy Baikie wins the 2015/16 Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for her distinctively clever novel, Selling LipService. She receives a R35 000 cash prize and publication of her book by Jacana Media, with the title being launched as part of Exclusive Books’ Homebru campaign in June 2017.
Not to be forgotten, runners-up Saul Musker (No Word Like Home) and Thabiso Mofokeng (The Last Stop) both narrowly missed being awarded the accolade for their exceptionally well-written and creative manuscripts. We have no doubt that their work will be picked up for publication, so keep an eye out!
For the first time, the Kraak Writing Grant was also awarded. That went to Andile Cele, author of Braids and Migraines. The grant is valued at R25 000 and dedicated to the memory of Gerald Kraak. It offers the recipient mentoring and intensive coaching from Alison Lowry – editor, publishing expert and writer – enabling the author to refine and develop their work still further.
Chris van Wyk is honoured with the Posthumous Literary Award for his overall literary achievement and Askari wins the Creative Non-Fiction Award at the SALAs.
South African poet and writer Chris van Wyk, who was born in Soweto in 1957 and passed away on 3 October 2014, was honoured with the Posthumous Literary Award for hi overall literary achievement and Askari by Jacob Dlamini won the Creative Non-Fiction Award at the 2016 South African Literary Awards.
On receiving the award, Jacob had this to say:
‘I am honoured and humbled by the SALA award. I would like to thank the judges, SALA and its sponsors for this wonderful recognition. Ke a leboga!’
Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi has won the 2016 South African Literary Awards K. Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award. Winners were announced on 7 November 2016 at a gala dinner at UNISA.
On receiving the award, Panashe had this to say:
“It is deeply affirming whenever you receive external validation for what is most often a solitary and isolating experience. This award in particular is an honour because it bears the name of one of South Africa’s literary greats. Over and above that, as someone with Pan-Africanist ideals, I’m deeply humbled that South African readers were able to find resonance with a story set in Zimbabwe, despite what many prospective publishers had said to me. I’m truly grateful to be a writer who has been allowed the space to bring all of herself and her experiences and to have that appreciated by a reading audience.”
Sweet Medicine is a thorough and evocative attempt at grappling with a variety of important issues in the postcolonial context: tradition and modernity, feminism and patriarchy, spiritual and political freedoms and responsibilities, poverty and desperation, and wealth and abundance.
“Panashe Chigumadzi’s Sweet Medicine is as fresh and bracing as mountain air.” – Mandla Langa