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YOUNG AUTHOR WINS PRESTIGIOUS PRIZE (article first published : 2003-07-20)

Promising young author Jackie Nagtegaal recently walked off with two of the seven awards at the Nasboek/M-Net prize-giving ceremony in Cape Town.

A law student at the University of Stellenbosch, Jackie (19) was presented with the R20,000 MER prize for youth literature for her début publication Daar is Vis in die Punch and a merit kykNET award to the value of R10,000 in the category for authors under 35.

Some top personalities in the South African publishing industry attended the 49 year-old award ceremony which took on a new format this year. M-Net joined forces with Nasboek for the first time to award authors of titles in vernacular languages. The sponsoring of the youth literature award was also a first for kykNET.

Whereas entries for the M-Net award were strictly limited to fiction, the kykNET award for young Afrikaans authors also acknowledges short-story novels and biographic or autobiographic novels.

Nasboek’s longstanding WA Hofmeyr award was presented to Dr Dan Sleigh for his publication Eilande, described as “not only a book, but an event ... an epic about the earliest years at the Cape in seven unforgettable descriptions of the lives of seven men whose existences slowly intertwine”. Dan Sleigh, editor in the transcription department of the Cape Archives, specialises in the Dutch colonial period. He has written and published various historic works, including Die Buiteposte – V.O.C.-buiteposte onder Kaapse bestuur, 1652-1795.

Ingrid de Kock, one of South Africa’s foremost poets, was awarded the Herman Charles Bosman prize for Terrestrial Things. Her publications include Familiar Ground (1988) and Transfer (1997). Terresterial Things addresses Aids and the heart-rending stories which came to the fore during Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

Karel Schoeman walked off with the Recht Malan prize for Die Laaste Afrikaanse Boek. Notes started by Schoeman when he retired in the village where he was born and sporadic diary inscriptions, lead to an outstanding publication which he believes will be his last.

Seventeen entries were received for the M-Net prize. The winner of the Ngiuni languages was Nakanjani G Sibiya for his book Kuxolelwa Abanji (“What kind of person should be forgiven?”). The Venda winner was Jemima L. Phaswana for Isha la Mitodzi (“More about tears”).

Awards in all categories amount to R20 000 each.

Next year, at least one more prize will be awarded, the Jan Rabie/Rapport prize for Afrikaans début prose. Worth R20,000 it will be awarded for manuscripts published in the 2003 financial year, taking into consideration innovation, Afrikaans, accessibility and “openness”.

Nasboek also announced that the bi-anual Jonathan Ball/NB Publishers journalism prizes will be changed to annual awards worth R15,000 in repect of book journalists and R10,000 in the field of all-media editors.

The latter awards will endorse the South African Bookeish International Book Festival to be held in Cape Town in April 2004. Nasboek will not only offer a considerable amount in cash, but will also make a community investment in terms of which more than 250,000 books, to the retail value of about R15 million, will be distributed to communities, schools in particular, with limited access to books.




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