The feminist scholar and author Pumla Dineo Gqola, novelist Niq Mhlongo, historian Thulasizwe Simpson, feminist authors Gabeba Baderoon and Desiree Lewis, as well as poet Natalia Molebatsi are among winners of the 2022 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards. [See below for list.]

Organized by the National Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS), the award, which is in its 7th year, is open to all South-African based academics, curators and artists across several creative disciplines working to advance the humanities and social sciences. The award aims to recognize scholarly creativity in the humanities, as well as celebrate the value of the humanities to public life.

Prof Sarah Mosoetsa, CEO of NIHSS, expressed satisfaction at the diversity of the winning entries, which says reopen, as well as chart new grounds in research and scholarship:

By filling in the gaps between polar opposites, HSS scholars make room for options and perspectives that might not otherwise be considered in terrains ranging from peace and politics to poverty and unemployment, gender and sexual orientation, history, identity, human development and environmental integrity.

The 2022 edition received 190 entries, the highest number in the prize’s history. The awards ceremony was held at the Javett Arts Centre in Pretoria on Thursday, 31 March 2022. It had in attendance judges, board members, publishers, media personalities and creative professionals. Winners were conferred with special boxes containing their prizes.

2022 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards

Best Fiction Edited Volume (Joint-winners)

  • Natalia Molebatsi – Wild (Im)Perfections
  • Niq Mhlongo – Hauntings

Best Fiction Single Author (Joint-winners)

  • Mandla Langa – The Lost Language of the Soul
  • Futhi Ntshingila – They Got to You Too
  • Ronelda Kamfer – Kompoun’n Roman

Best Fiction Poetry (Joint-winners)

  • Athambile Masola – Ilifa
  • Dimakatso Sedite – Yellow Shade

Best Fiction Short Stories

  • Nthikeng Mohlele – The Discovery of Love

Best Nonfiction Monograph (Joint-winners)

  • Pumla Dineo Gqola – Female Fear Factory
  • Thula Simpson – History of South Africa: Fron 1902 to Present.

Best Non-fiction Edited Volume

  • Surfacing: On Being Black and Feminist in South Africa – Desiree Lewis and Gabeba Baderoon (Wits University Press)
  • Ambivalent: Photography and Visibility in African History – Patricia Hayes and Gary Minkley (Jacana Media)

Best Nonfiction Biography

  • Johnny Clegg – Scatterling of Africa: My Early Years

See the full list here.

Congratulations to the writers!