The Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards has announced the winners of its inaugural edition.
The award, which is the first of its kind in Namibia, biennially recognizes Namibian writers, poets, and visual artists who produce resonant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art for contemporary pioneering literary magazine Doek! The award is jointly run by Doek! and the financial institution Bank Windhoek.
The four winners are selected in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual art. They will each receive a cash award of NAD5000 from Bank Windhoek, and a unique trophy designed by Attila Giersch, an award-winning Namibian jeweller. Additionally, they each receive a custom-made leather book jacket from Leon Engelbrecht Design. The fiction and nonfiction winners will also each receive NAD2500 vouchers from Gondwana and Namibia Wildlife Resorts respectively.
Each shortlisted writer receives an NAD1000 book voucher from the Book Den generously sponsored by AdForce, a bottle of Guardian Peak wine provided by Namibia Wine Merchants, a bottle Desolate Gin from Copper & Coal Distillery, a Slowtown coffee hamper, and a hamper from Namibia Dairies.
The prize is a powerful new force in the African literary scene. Kudos to the organizers for a successful award season.
“Silhouette” by Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo (Issue 5: March, 2021)
Silhouette” showcases Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo’s confidence and compelling voice; the twist in this wonderful short story is a bonus that exhibits his writing acumen and willingness to push beyond the boundaries of the ordinary and it is our selection for 2021.
Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo is a Namibian writer. He is also a student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology pursuing a degree in English Literature.
“Ouma Sofie’s Gold” by Natasha Uys (Issue 6: July, 2021)
Natasha Uys’s “Ouma Sophie’s Gold”—a poignant and exemplary piece of nonfiction writing was our selection. Uys’s writing was so heartbreaking we wished the painful truths shared in her work was fictitious—but they are not, they are painfully real and dare us not to look away. Thanks to Uys’s considerable skill at writing, we could not.
Natasha Uys is a journalist and editor from Windhoek, Namibia. She is currently studying Media Management through the Sol Plaatje Institute at Rhodes University.
“Green And Greening” by Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu (Issue 4: November, 2020)
[Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu] made us relive the confinement and desperation of that first lockdown in Namibia—a period which did not seem to have an end. Now, with the country and the world opening up and trying to find a new sense of movement and freedom, her words remind us that we, too, are living things.
Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu is a Zimbabwean-born Namibian curator and writer whose work explores the themes of land, memory, healing, time, and senescence.
“Chrysalis” by Namafu Amutse (Issue 4: November, 2020)
Namafu Amutse’s “Chrysalis” was a captivating exploration of emergence. Hinting at the possibilities change presents, her work was both sweeping and metamorphic—a creative vision of things, people, time, places, and worlds beyond this one.”
Namafu Amutse is filmmaker, photographer, art director, and writer from Swakopmund, Namibia. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Education Honours degree in English and German at the University of Namibia (UNAM).
Congratulations to all the winners!