Engineer wins Writivism prize

2019-09-03 06:00
Resoketswe Manenzhe won first place in the 2019 Writivism short story competition.

Resoketswe Manenzhe won first place in the 2019 Writivism short story competition.

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A University of Cape Town (UCT) engineering PhD student, Resoketswe Manenzhe, won first prize in the short story category at the recent Writivism Festival.

Manenzhe is attached to the Centre for Minerals Research in the department of chemical engineering at UCT. Her winning story, Maserumo, was a brief history of several deaths that occurred rather quickly, one after the other, and about the possible cause.

Writivism, which took place in Kampala in Uganda from 15 to 18 August, is an initiative that identifies, mentors and promotes emerging African writers.

According to the website, it is Uganda’s leading literary event and celebrates African culture and the creative arts around an annual theme, which for 2019 was “Unbreakable Bonds”.

“It was amazing,” she said of the Writivism experience. “I met some of the most prolific writers, publishers and activists from all over the continent. And for the first time in my life, I was given VIP treatment simply because I’m a writer.”

Manenzhe began writing in 2015 and shortly after her poems and short stories started appearing in online magazines and journals.

In 2017, two of her poems – The flight at Signal Hill and Down by the Nelson Bridge – were shortlisted and then published in the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology.

She doesn’t see her engineering work and writing as too different, however.

“Engineering teaches precision; I apply that a lot in my writing.”

While she describes herself as “sometimes a poet, a storyteller”, the future, for now, is all about engineering. “I’m now fully focused on my PhD.”


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