Here is our book prize long list

Author Lesedi Molefi. Picture: Supplied
Author Lesedi Molefi. Picture: Supplied

The entries are in and City Press, along with Tafelberg, an imprint of NB Publishers, is delighted to announce the long list for the biennial City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award. Drawn from a record 120 entries, the winner will receive a publishing deal with Tafelberg, R120 000 in grant money and a significant marketing drive for their book.

1. The Story of Nicodemus Kgoathe: Intergenerational Trauma Caused by Apartheid Atrocities by granddaughters Amogelang Kgoathe and Masechaba Sefularo is a delicate story that navigates the death in detention of Nicodemus Kgoathe. It deals with the psychological trauma that has been passed on to generations still trying to understand the atrocities that were inflicted on their grandfather, and how they must now navigate through issues of unresolved trauma. The hope for Amogelang is that her father, Ben, can find healing through the telling of his father’s story.

2. Requiem for a Joller by Harry Kalmer traces the life story of Afrikaner anti-apartheid activist Marius Schoon, who was jailed for sabotage and lived a life of exile. After enduring the agony of losing his wife and daughter during a letter bomb attack, Kalmer uses Schoon’s personal archive to tell the story of his astonishing life.

3. Patient 12A by Lesedi Molefi looks at Molefi’s first-hand experience battling mental illness and how, as a young black professional, he has dealt with the challenges he has faced, from being admitted into a mental health facility to coping with the stigma of mental illness, which is often still seen as taboo.

4. Throw Madam From the Train: A Memoir of the Rise of a Teacher in Post-Apartheid South Africa by Nandipha Gantsho traces the teaching experiences of Ganthso, a black teacher in an Indian school in Lenasia, and addresses ideas of identity, race and the evolution of the education landscape in a new South Africa.

5. When Millennials Inherit South Africa by Nkateko Mabasa explores the social movements young people have formed in resistance to the overarching narrative of a free and democratic society. Youngsters, who find themselves at a crossroads between the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the new democratic dispensation, are interpreted through their use of social media and the idea of interconnectedness that millennials forge globally, as well as the divide they must bridge between the past and their ideas for the future of the country.

6. Almighty by Palesa Tshabalala explores femicide in South Africa and across the world as reflected through Tshabalala’s personal experience of having been involved in a violent relationship 10 years prior to writing this. Having survived brutal beatings at the hand of her abuser, Tshabalala explores the social and historical context that has contributed to a femininity dominated by masculinity in society.

7. At the chalk-face by Sara Black looks at the struggles within the education system as she outlines her first-hand experience as a maths teacher, and why her pupils were struggling to learn. She speaks to the challenges faced by pupils and teachers, including learning difficulties, a lack of resources and how teachers have reached burn-out levels, something that led to her leaving her position as head of the maths department.

8. Dennis Brutus by Tyrone August is the biography of poet and political activist Dennis Brutus, who, through his political activism, was banned by the National Party government in 1962, and was eventually arrested and served 18 months on Robben Island. Brutus led a campaign against South Africa being allowed to enter the Olympic Games in 1964 through the SA Non-Racial Olympic Committee. Exploring his poetry, August looks at four decades of Brutus’ work and how this foregrounds archival information not yet available in the public domain.

9. Boy on the Run by Welcome Lishivha is a memoir based on the author’s coming of age as a young gay black man whose mother was killed at the hands of her boyfriend just weeks after Lishivha was sexually attacked at the age of 12 by a group of boys. Lishivha seeks to outline his journey of living in a world without justice for the death of his mother and his own attack, and how his journey to healing meant facing the trauma of his past head-on.

10. Fall From Grace: Memoirs of Mugabe’s People in the Diaspora by Willie Tafadzwa Chinyamurindi explores the lived realities and experiences of Zimbabweans who left a country that was once known as the breadbasket of the continent, but which is now dealing with grave social and economic challenges.

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