Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards announce shortlist

A crop of local literary talents are officially in the running for this year’s Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards as the bi-annual prizegiving announces its shortlist.

Established in 2021, the awards ceremony, which will be held next month, honours storytellers who have previously been featured in Doek! Literary Magazine.

“After an intense adjudication process, the judges of the 2023 Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards have decided on their shortlist of literary artists that will contend for the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art awards,” says Doek founder Rémy Ngamije.

“This shortlist represents some of the most talented storytellers in the country, some of the names here appeared in the running in 2021 – it is encouraging to see that talent in the arts is not once-off but that it is continuous and sustained.”

This year’s nominees for fiction are Roxanne Bayer (‘Letters To Chloe’), Karin Eloff (‘One Man’s Trash’) and Filemon Iiyambo (‘Their Mother’s Words’). Frowin Becker (‘Deliver Me, Anvil’) and Nina Van Zyl (‘Motherhood’) are nominated for nonfiction awards.

The nominees for poetry are Kina Indongo (‘Windhoek’, ‘How Things Are And How They Happen’ and ‘Our Last Conversation’), Veripuamu Nandee Kangumine (‘Daughters of a Witch’, ‘There Isn’t A Word in Your Language for Being Touched’ and ‘The Jackal Who Prepares You for Marriage’) and Keith Vries (‘Jamal’ and ‘Who Did You Leave Under the Sea’.

Nicola Brandt (‘When the Land Speaks’), Katherine Hunter (‘How Frankenstein Created A Character’) and Jean-Claude Tjitamunisa (‘The Gift’) are nominated in the category of visual art.

Fiction, nonfiction and poetry judges for this year are Dr Nelson Mlambo and Natasha Uys. Namafu Amutse is the judge for visual art. All nominated stories, poems and artworks can be viewed online at doeklitmag.com

“As part of Doek’s ongoing mission to create a diverse, curious and robust literary culture within the country, these awards, made possible through an ongoing partnership with Bank Windhoek, are a unique milestone: they continue to be a crucial opportunity to recognise and reward the literary artists who compose and share works of literature that help bring Namibian writing to Namibians and the rest of the world,” says Ngamije.

Considering Bank Windhoek and Doek’s collaboration, Bank Windhoek’s executive officer of marketing and corporate communication services Jacqueline Pack echoes Ngamije’s sentiments.

“We support the ongoing mission to grow a diverse, curious and robust literary culture within Namibia,” says Pack.

“We want to cultivate a culture of reading and writing in today’s world, where readers and writers are overwhelmed with information overload. Together with the Doek Magazine, we are proud to recognise artists’ literary talent and amplify their works to new audiences at home and abroad,” says Pack.

“We are excited about the opportunity to celebrate the power of writing collectives and arts organisations and to engage the shortlisted writers, poets and visual artists in discussions about their work.”

Literature lovers eager to hear these discussions are invited to the launch of ‘Now Now: The 2023 Doek Anthology’ at Goethe-Institut Namibia this Thursday, 16 November from 18h00. The anthology is the Doek’s first collection and features stories from Namibia, Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“I am honoured to have edited this wonderful anthology, a milestone for Doek, Namibia’s literary community and an important addition to continental literature,” says Ngamije.

Copies of ‘Now Now: The 2023 Doek Anthology’ will be available at the event which will include panel discussions with the anthology’s Namibian contributors and designers.

– martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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