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M-NET LITERARY AWARDS 2005 (article first published : 2005-06-28)

The 2005 M-Net Literary Awards winners were announced at a glitzy ceremony in Cape Town last month. Formerly the M-Net Book Prize, the M-Net Literary Awards recognises the literary works of indigenous South African writers, as it has done for the past 14 years.

A record-breaking total of 164 entries were received, with the Nguni category comprising IsiZulu; IsiXhosa; IsiNdebele and SeSwati dominated the scene. Among the KZN winners are SD Khumalo for Isiqalo Esisha (A new beginning) in the sections for Nguni works which also garnered an award for poetry for Intathakusa by C Nyanda and J.J Thwala.

The winner of the Life Achievement award went to respected well-known KZN poet, Prof Mazisi Kunene.

This year, the M-Net Literary Awards included novels, biographies, theatre scripts, children's books, short stories, poetry and drama. The criteria for selection are: literary merit, strong narrative content, and accessibility to a broad reading public and relevance to actualities.

"M-Net, for the purpose of this project, set the standards higher than the previous competition so that writers can constantly improve their writing skills. This enables them to lead in this competitive environment and to constantly better themselves. And this year we realised that people do not express their gifts in one form of writing hence inviting all creative writers. And once more we've decided to award one person who has contributed a lot "said Glen Marques- CEO M-Net.

"In recognition of the crucial role that literature plays in the development of a culture of reading, M-Net is pleased to reward published novelists and writers for their contribution and to be associated with the competition of this nature," he added.




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