Tsitsi Dangarembga apologizes to her fans for not bringing home the Booker Prize, and their responses were inspiring. Dangarembga and Ethiopia’s Maaza Mengiste were shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, one of literature’s most prestigious prizes.
The news of her nomination for This Mournable Body got the African literary community excited, especially as it came days before she was jailed for peacefully protesting corruption in the Zimbabwean government. Her fans in the African community were rooting for her, hoping her brilliant book would receive the highly coveted prize. But the prize went to Douglas Stuart for Shuggie Bain.
Dangarembga’s response came soon after. She congratulated the winner and then followed with the tweet:
Friends, I am sorry not to have given you more to celebrate. But I promise you I will keep on writing and telling our stories as well as I can. 🙏🏾
— Tsitsi Dangarembga (@efie41209591) November 19, 2020
Here are some of the responses from her fans, readers, and fellow writers.
There is no better award to all of us Zimbabweans as your person. We thank God for having given you to us. So that we now claim you ahead of the whole world. We love you
— sulaiman (@sylyss) November 20, 2020
Insanely proud of you and the work you do. 💪🏾 We love you!!
— Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn (@lolashoneyin) November 20, 2020
Tsitsi, your writing has indelibly shaped us. I can’t even imagine my adult reading life without your NC, which I’ve taught to 1000s of university students over the last two decades. Tambu has been a teacher and constant companion with each return. I thank and honour you.
— Pumla Dineo Gqola, PhD (@feminist_rogue) November 20, 2020
Your book is BRILLIANT! Thank you Tsitsi for mesmerising us (and making me giggle!) Look forward to the next glorious chapter!
— chipo chung (@chipochung) November 20, 2020
The biggest award you have given us is choosing to become a true prophet by standing with the oppressed while speaking truth to the brutal regime. You could have easily settled for a more comfortable life amongst the elite. Salute to a true heroine of our time. Head bowed.
— Pete (@Musande1) November 20, 2020
That you’ve carried on through so much adversity is well worth celebrating. You’re an inspiration to many.
— Jennifer Bew Orr 📚 (@Jenny_Bew_Orr) November 20, 2020
Thank you for your writing @efie41209591. It’s amazing to see Zimbabwean literature gaining wider recognition & the interviews you’ve given recently have been amazing. Lots of new readers and admirers worldwide who are rooting for you & your fellow scribes. 💪
— Nicola Spurr (@NicolaRSpurr) November 20, 2020
You’re a winner to us Tsitsi! Always ✨
— Nat (@malaikadiva) November 19, 2020
You didn’t disappoint us. Not one iota. We are so proud of you…so much negativity about our country, it’s heartwarming to have something positive to shout about😁👏🏾
— Nothando Ndebele (@Nothando_N) November 20, 2020