Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards has announced its line up of judges and commissioned artists for its inaugural prize.

The award, which is the first of its kind in Namibia, biennially honors the finest work by four Namibian contributors published in any issue of Doek!. Winners of the prize receives a cash award of 5000 NAD and extensive professional support for their careers from the organization.

The 2021 judges are Beauty Boois, Dr Colette Kandemiri, Bruni Lubbe and Shawn Van Eeden. As stated in the press release, the 2021 judges represent “a diverse a group of people drawn from the Namibian literary community, who have all played pivotal roles in Doek!’s journey.”

The prize organizers will announce the trophy concept and design by the commissioned artists on August 2, followed by a shortlist selected by the judges on September 1. The winners will be revealed at an awards gala dinner in November 2021.

Bios of Judges

Beauty Boois • Judge: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Beauty Boois is a genderqueer, intersectional feminist with a professional background in psychological counselling. They hold an honours degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Namibia. Their writing focuses on social justice issues, mental health, women’s, human, and LGBTI+ rights. Their work has appeared in The Namibian, Sister Namibia, African Feminism, Monochrome Magazine, the Namibian Sun, and Elephant Journal. Their debut novel |Namgu’s Escape Theory was published by the UNAM Press in 2020 and was one of Brittle Paper’s 50 Most Notable African Books of 2020They served as Doek!’s poetry editor in 2020.

Dr Coletta Kandemiri • Judge: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Dr Kandemiri obtained her BA Honours Degree in English from the University of Zimbabwe. She received her MA in English Studies from the University of Namibia with a cum laude distinction in 2018; she was also awarded the Chancellor’s and Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. Her PhD examined how contemporary glitches in present day Namibia stemmed from the 1904-1908 Herero-Nama Genocide. Dr Kandemiri has attended and presented at conferences, and her list of publications include journal articles and book chapters. Her fiction has appeared in Doek!.

Shawn Van Eeden • Judge: Visual Art

Shawn is an award-winning Namibian photographer whose design career started in London, England. After 12 years in London he moved back to Namibia and worked at Y&R before founding CreativeLAB, his own full-time photography studio. Shawn’s work has been shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Awards and has won various honours at One Eyeland Photography Awards, the Epica Awards, the Lucie Awards, and the Loeries. His work has appeared in Doek!.

Bruni Lubbe • Judge: Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry

Bruni was born in Gobabis and resides in Windhoek. A former mathematics teacher, she is a passionate reader and champion of local and international literature. She works at the Book Den where she is well-known to city-based book lovers.