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2008 M-Net and Via Afrika Award Winners

AsbesmiddagDiary of a Bad YearDie windvangerThabo Mbeki, The Dream DeferredThe Goblet ClubSiegfriedNina and Little Duck

The richest literary awards night in Africa – some R330 000 was given away at the 2008 M-Net / Via Afrika awards at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town tonight – saw the heavyweights run rampant: JM Coetzee, Breyten Breytenbach, Etienne van Heerden and Mark Gevisser all picked up R30 000 cheques, the last three in person. Coetzee’s award was accepted by Random House head Stephen Johnson.

The night also saw its share of controversy, as, for the first time in many an SA Lit punter’s recent memory, no award was given for the Herman Charles Bosman prize, Niq Mhlongo and Gail Dendy having to settle for honourable mentions – and the R15 000 cheques that accompanied them.

It being a rather bleary early-late morning for BOOK SA, we’re going to cut straight to the chase, starting with the winners of the M-Net Literary Awards, which are given in six language categories. Each winner – and all honourable mentions – received R30 000; see all winners’ photos in the gallery below:

  • Nguni: Ukutshona kweHotyazana by Phakamile Gongo in isiXhosa (Bard Publishers)
  • Sotho: Dilo tšela ke batho by MC Mphahlele in Sepedi (MaskewMiller Longman)
  • Xitsonga: Xijahatana by MC Lubisi (MaskewMiller Longman)
  • Tshivenda: Honourable mention for HR Tshianane’s Vhuanzwo (MaskewMiller Longman)
  • Afrikaans: Asbesmiddag by Etienne van Heerden (Tafelberg)
  • English: Diary of a Bad Year by JM Coetzee

The difference between the M-Net awards and the Via Afrika awards is that the latter, with the exception of the Jan Rabie prize, are open only to publishers from the Via Afrika group. Here are the winners; their pics are below:

  • W.A. Hofmeyr Prize (Afrikaans literature across all genres): Die windvanger by Breyten Breytenbach (Human & Rousseau)
  • Herman Charles Bosman Prize (English literary writing and autobiography): No award given; honourable mentions for Gail Dendy’s The Lady Missionary and Niq Mhlongo’s After Tears
  • Recht Malan Prize (English or Afrikaans non-fiction or non-literary): Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser (Jonathan Ball)
  • M.E.R. Youth Prize (Youth novel): The Goblet Club by S.A. Partridge (Human & Rousseau)
  • M.E.R. Illustrated Prize (Children’s illustrated book): Nina and Little Duck by Wendy Hartmann & Marjorie van Heerden (Human & Rousseau)
  • Jan Rabie/Rapport Prize (Innovative Afrikaans literature): Siegfried by Willem Anker (Kwela Books)

Gcina Mhlope and Leon de Kock emceed; there were speeches by Patricia Scholtemeyer (CEO of M-Net) and Musa Shezi (CEO of Via Afrika); and BOOK SA bloggers Angelina Sithebe and Richard de Nooy put in cameo appearances – not in person, but on-screen, having been honourable-mentioned for the M-Net Award. Can you spot them in the gallery?

Congratulations to all winners: may your writing go from strength to strength!


Gcina MhlopePatricia ScholtemeyerAwards NightLeon de KockGcina Mhlope and Batya Green-BrickerTessa Oliver and Leon de KockNaomi Bruwer, Ben Williams and Tymon SmithPhakamile GongoChris MphahleleMC LubisiEtienne van HeerdenHoly HillRichard de NooyStephen JohnsonBreyten BreytenbachBreyten BreytenbachMark GevisserSA PartridgeWendy Hartmann and Marjorie van HeerdenWillem AnkerMusa SheziWillem AnkerThelma Tshesane and Mafori MphahlehleBreyten Breytenbach and SA PartridgeMafori Mphahlehle and Etienne van HeerdenCarel van der MerweEloise Wessels, Jonathan Ball and Elgaard Raubenheimer

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 15th, 2008 @13:42 #

    Congratulations to the winners and apologies to any guests who may have been put off their hors d'oeuvre by my cameo appearance.


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