Awards honour writers

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

In taking heritage to greater heights, South African literary practitioners and legends were honoured on Saturday at the South African Literary Awards.

The event attracted local and international writers at Vodaworld, Midrand, Johannesburg.

In its third year, the awards honour writers who have contributed to the growth of literature in South Africa.

Started in 2005, this year writers were honoured for their role in keeping this art alive.

Nadine Gordimer said: "We have a huge task of inspiring the younger generation to see literature as a career.

"With lack of books written in African languages, children are deprived of the luxury of reading."

Established and respected writers such as Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali, Sindiwe Magona, Felix Thuketana, Max Marhamele, Mongane Wally Serote, Stephen Grey, Athol Fugard, Mafika Gwala got lifetime achievement awards.

The Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award went to Otty Nxumalo, and Bruce Ngubeni received the Sello Duiker Award. Sipho Sephamla walked away with the Literary Posthumous Award.

The Literary Journalism Award went to Sunday Times writer Bongani Madondo and Victa Dlamini.

The awards have previously honoured people like Es'kia Mphahlele, Noni Jabavu, Ellen Khuzwayo, Gordimer, Denis Brutus, James Matthews, Lauretta Ngcobo, Ronnie Govender, Andre Brink, Peter Abrahams, Lewis Nkosi, Don Mattera and Karel Schoeman.