The Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards: The Shortlist

The list “features some of the most resonant fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art from Namibia.”
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Doek! Issue 6 cover.

Doek! Issue 6 cover.

As part of Doek!’s ongoing mission to grow a diverse, curious, and robust literary culture within the country, these Awards, made possible through a partnership with Bank Windhoek, are a special milestone: they are an opportunity to recognise and reward the literary artists who compose and share works of literature that help bring Namibian writing to Namibians and the rest of the world.

The 2021 shortlist spotlights works with themes that highlight the complex realities of Namibian life. But they also, through the craft expended in their composition, possess universal threads that can be appreciated by readers in Africa and the world. Migration and homecoming; the friction between history and heritage; confrontations with patriarchal systems and the celebration of the strengths of women; radical visions of youth in bloom; and, more recently, isolation and reaching for hope during the COVID-19 pandemic—these are just some of the themes that are explored by the short stories, essays, poems, illustrations, and photographs selected by this year’s panel of judges to represent Namibian literature.

“Our mandate, to choose works which best displayed the diversity of literary creation in the country from a longlist of 28 works, made the selection process challenging but interesting,” said the judges. “All the entries featured on the longlist were wonderful, and we wish all the writers, poets, and visual artists strength and determination as they create their future works. Namibia’s population may be small, but its artists produce works that cover a wide creative spectrum. With this year’s shortlist, we hope we have showcased just that.”

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Below is the shortlist of the 2021 Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards

Fiction

  • “December” by Filemon Iiyambo (Issue 4: November, 2020)
  • “The Letter” by Dalene Kooper (Issue 4: November, 2020)
  • “Silhouette” by Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo (Issue 5: March, 2021)

Nonfiction

  • “Is There A Doctorate In The House?” by Frowin Becker (Issue 5: March, 2021)
  • “Auralgraph: Spice In The Wind” by Ndakolute Ndilula (Issue 5: March, 2021)
  • “Ouma Sofie’s Gold” by Natasha Uys (Issue 6: July, 2021)

Poetry

  • “Queens In Your Bloodline” by Ros Limbo (Issue 3: July, 2020)
  • “Green And Greening” by Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu (Issue 4: November, 2020)
  • “From The Fury Of A Dying Sun” by Alacia Armstrong (Issue 5: March, 2021)

Visual Art

  • “Chrysalis” by Namafu Amutse (Issue 4: November, 2020)
  • “Becoming Home” by Katherine Hunter (Issue 4: November, 2020)
  • “Reach” by Immanuel Natangwe Hafeni (Issue 5: March, 2021)

KEY DATES

  • 01 October 2021: announcement of the sponsored prizes
  • November 2021: Awards gala dinner (date and venue to be announced later)

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted writers, poets, and visual artists.

Find out more here.

Doek! Magazine
Doek! is a free, independent, and Pan-African online literary magazine produced in Windhoek, Namibia. Founded by Mutaleni Nadimi and Rémy Ngamije, Doek! is an important step—but not the only step—towards creating a diverse, curious, and robust literary culture in Namibia. Doek! is published online three times a year: in March, July, and November. The magazine is published in English with some select content appearing in Namibia’s indigenous languages.

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