The inaugural Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Awards, for writers from KwaZulu-Natal, have been won by Carol Campbell and ZP Dala.
The Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Awards were initiated by the Minara Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 their Recognition Awards for excellence in various fields conferred on Durban-born writer Aziz Hassim a posthumous Arts and Culture Literary Award.
The official presentation of this year’s prizes will be done at the Minara Recognition Awards on the 30 October, 2015, at the Durban City Hall. Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene will give the keynote address.
There’s a great local award for writers from KZN called the Minara Aziz Hassim Literary Award (MAHLA). Lovely to have ZP Dala’s What About Meera and Carol Campbell’s Esther’s House win the debut and main prizes respectively. Hearty congratulations!
Main Category: Esther’s House by Carol Campbell
The novel, Esther’s House by Carol Campbell, published by Umuzi, is set in one of South Africa’s marginal communities. It tackles with sensitivity burning social issues such as the housing crisis and corruption in officialdom in South Africa today. This novel is wonderfully authentic in terms of dialogue, and is multi-layered and credible in its characterisation. Furthermore, it is socially relevant dealing as it does with social protest and community activism.
Debut Category: What About Meera by ZP Dala
The debut novel, What about Meera, by ZP Dala, and published by Umuzi, is interesting for its unusual transnational locations (Tongaat and Dublin). There is evidence of promising attempts to experiment with narrative construction and characterization. The book is socially relevant in South Africa today as it deals with the themes of domestic violence and women’s abuse. The writer is to be commended for the potential she demonstrates, and is recognised as a new, emerging literary voice in KwaZulu-Natal.
Dala has informed Umuzi that she will be donating her prize money to a school in Tongaat, her home town and the area where much of her novel is set:
“The primary school was razed by a fire earlier this year,” the author explains, “and my intention is to purchase library books to re-stock the books that were destroyed.
“This school is one of the oldest village primary schools in Tongaat and is deeply deserving of assistance.”
Congratulations to Dala and Campbell!
- ’n Huis vir Ester by Carol Campbell
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