Khayelitsha author wins coveted award

2015-12-03 06:00
 The esteemable Sipho Kekezwa

The esteemable Sipho Kekezwa

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Sipho Kekezwa, a Khayelitsha resident has made a name for himself again after he was awarded the first prize in Maskew Miller Longman Literarure Awards’s isiXhosa category last Wednesday.

Last year, his novel titled, Ndizigwaze Ngokwam, received a Silver Prize in the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature Awards 2013.

In a glitzy affair held in Cape Town,he was one of the eight finalists in this year’s Maskew Miller Longman Awards.

His entry, Icebo likaMalusi, won him first prize in the isiXhosa category.

It was his first laying a hand on the winning prize, for he has been runner-up on three occasions in the past, since the prize’s inception in 2006.

His other awards include an isiXhosa short story titled Lelikabani Eli tyala?, in 2009.

Competitive by nature, that same year, his first entry in the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature Awards titled, Akukho kwayama ngomfo olambayo was one of the finalists in the Nguni category.

He had said he would make history by becoming the first isiXhosa writer to win the African category in the Sanlam Prize for Youth Novel Award.

Though they were not published, two of his manuscripts had won first and second runner’s up prize in Maskew Miller Longman Drama Awards 2012.

Ndizigwaze ngokwam, paved theway for him to be a guest author at Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, the 2015 Puku Story Competition Prize-giving Ceremony and by the Centre for the Book in the Funda Mzantsi Championship

At school, Kekezwa said he once took part in a multi-racial play, rubbing shoulders with Deon Opperman, a renowned author and playwright.

Titled Twelve Angry Men, the play was directed and produced by a Mr Phelps, Deon’s English teacher at the Selborne College.

Besides writing, Kekezwa offers book reviews, editing, proofreading and translations.

Recently, UMhlobo Wenene FM radio DJ, Phiwe ‘Pastor’ Nozewu published a collection of isiXhosa anecdotes titled, Imihlinzo which was edited by Kekezwa.

Kekezwa was born in East London and grew up in Ziphunzana.

He matriculated in Ebenezer Majombozi High School in the late 1970’s.

After a long period of unemployment, he moved to Cape Town, working as a general worker in several companies.

He later took up a freelance journalism course at Intec College and a computer literacy course, both of which helped him fulfil his dream of becoming a writer.

He was more motivated when his letter was selected as a winning letter and published in the Letters to the Editor section of City Vision in 1999.

He then he went on to publish various short stories with Drum magazine the same year. He also reviewed a couple of books for Fair Lady magazine.

The book is set in East London in the 1970’s, the subject matter of which still exists; bullying.

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