JIAS Deputy Director wins Alan Paton Award

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga at the Sunday Times Literary Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on 23 June 2018.

Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, newly appointed Deputy Director of JIAS, has won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for his book The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme. He received the award at a gala dinner held in Johannesburg on Saturday 23 June 2018.

A former JIAS Writing Fellow, Harry Kalmer, won the Barry Ronge Fiction Prize for his book A Thousand Tales of Johannesburg. Both titles are published by Penguin Books.

These two prizes constitute the Sunday Times Literary Awards, regarded as the most prestigious literary accolade in South Africa.

The Alan Paton Award judging panel consisted of the Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron, the journalist Paddi Clay, and the award-winning writer, journalist and filmmaker Sylvia Vollenhoven.

In their citation, they said Dr Ngqulunga’s book was ‘a revelatory, inspiring study of a man and a movement that reverberates right up to today. It is a scholarly, well-researched book that illuminates our flawed roots and our flawed nationhood, presented through the complex and mercurial character of Seme.’

The Barry Ronge Fiction Prize panel comprised the radio personality Africa Melane, Love Books owner Kate Rogan and the award-winning writer Ken Barris.
In their citation, they stated: ‘Johannesburg emerges as a fascinating beast of a city, and this is a novel way of celebrating it. The outstanding writing and innovative structure – along with memorable characters – make this an instant classic.’

The prize-winners each received R100 000.

For an article on the Sunday Times Books Live website, click here.

For an article on the University of Johannesburg website, click here.

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