SA Literacy Awards to celebrate diverse heritage

21 November 2011 - 11:38
By Victor Mecoamere
CHAIR: Gomolemo Mokae
CHAIR: Gomolemo Mokae

OUR best writers in nine categories of the sixth yearly South African Literary Awards (Sala) will be celebrated at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg on December 8.

Adjudication was completed recently for the awards that celebrate South Africa's rich and diverse literary heritage in categories, including:

l The Nadine Gordimer short story award (for writing in African languages in South Africa);

l Sello K Duiker memorial literary award;

l Literary journalism award;

l Literary translators award;

l Posthumous literary award;

l Lifetime achievement literary award;

l Poetry award;

l First-time published author award; and the

l Chairperson's award.

Last year, the lifetime achievement literary award winners were MM Mabuza, Hennie Aucamp, Mandla Langa, Zakes Mda, Peter Horn and Marguerite Poland.

Project managers wRite Associates said this week that - in selecting the winning submissions - the adjudication panel based its choice on language and style, literary merit, "appeal in terms of being South African", universal and transcending time, enhancing social cohesion and promoting nation-building and creativity and in the appropriate application of writing skills.

Gomolemo Mokae, chairman of the panel, said the adjudication process was comprehensive and had been underpinned by robust debate among the panelists, which had been prompted by the quality of submissions, and the diverse range of entries.

Zodwa Motsa, chairman of the Sala advisory board, said: "Adjudicators are not fixated with their own preferences. Ours is a fair, honest and engaging process where we look at all the literary works submitted objectively. We also reward innovation of those writers breaking new ground".

Project director Raks Seakhoa said the awards were a complementary facet of initiatives that promote the culture of reading, writing and learning.