Witness Reporter
2 minute read
26 Apr 2021
06:16

SA writers producing quality literature for young readers

Witness Reporter

South African writers are producing quality work for the country’s younger readers. Sanlam and Tafelberg Publishers received 95?manuscripts in nine of the country’s 11 official languages for the 2021 Sanlam Prizes for Youth Literature.

South African writers are producing quality work for the country’s younger readers. Sanlam and Tafelberg Publishers received 95 manuscripts in nine of the country’s 11 official languages for the 2021 Sanlam Prizes for Youth Literature. Many of the entrants in the competition, which seeks to develop quality literature for readers aged between 12 and 18 year of age, were debut writers. Prizes are awarded in three categories: English, Afrikaans and African languages, with a winner and runner-up chosen in each category. KwaZulu-Natal authors who have made the finals of the contest include: Lwazi Msimango from Umlazi for The Firstborn; and Newcastle-based writers Elanie Boshoff for 56 Dae Van Lente, and Sandile Ngwenya for Imali Yezipoki (isiZulu).

The other 2021 finalists are:

English

  • Jayne Bauling from White River for Looking for Letsie
  • Jaco Fouché from Hermanus for The Kowie
    Catherine Jarvis from Orange Grove, Johannesburg, for The Swim Team
  • Fred Khumalo from Wendywood, Johannesburg, for Crossing the River;
  • Penny Lorimer from Cape Town for Luntu Masiza Tells the Truth

Afrikaans

  • Faeed Amardien from Parkwood Estate, Cape Town, for Life is ’n Biets
  • Marissa Badenhorst from Potchefstroom for Akwa
  • Annerle Barnard from Bloemfontein for Spel
  • Ihette Senekal from Colbyn, Pretoria, for Vyf Sekondes Voor Vryda
  • Betsie van Niekerk from Malmesbury for Anderkind

African languages

  • Musa Baloyi from Malamulele for Tinsimu to Pfumala Mphumawulo (Xitsonga
  • Othusitse Lobelo from Delareyville for Maru ga se Pula (Setswana)
  • Maledimo Moeng from Pretoria for Eish, Eish, Eish (Sepedi)
  • Thulani Simayile, from Eerste River, Cape Town, for UNolali (isiXhosa
  • Francis Tebesi from Tembisa for Likhapha tsa Mofutsana ha li Rothele Fatse (Sesotho)

“The short lists are eclectic, with great diversity in style and subject matter,” said Michelle Cooper, publisher of children’s books and young adult fiction at Tafelberg. “Genres range from historical to contemporary, and from magical realism to dystopian. Coming-of-age stories abound, and a number of titles explore the harsh realities of life many young people in South Africa grapple with, such as racial issues, life on the streets, xenophobia, human trafficking and HIV. There is a story here for everyone.” The winners will be announced in October with the winners in each category getting R20 000 and the runner-up R10 000. The prize-winning titles will also be published by Tafelberg. Launched in 1980, the Sanlam Prizes for Youth Literature are awarded every two years. The competition is open to citizens from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. Mariska Oosthuizen, head of brand at Sanlam, said the company is committed to empowering South Africans to live with confidence. “Enabling our children to learn in their home languages is critical to building confidence and core foundational capabilities. “We celebrate all the authors who work so hard to create works that captivate and inspire our young people.” — Books Editor.