Power of the pen. Do you have what it takes?
The contested culture of ukuthwala, the state of South African diplomacy in Africa, the story of a struggle icon and the issues around developing gifted children from disadvantaged communities.
These are the stories that have made the short list for the annual City Press Nonfiction Award in partnership with Tafelberg Publishers.
One of the four finalists will be awarded a prize worth R60 000, which will allow them to research their book and get it published. They are:
Lydia Gittens. The anthropologist and nursing sister is researching ukuthwala, the abduction of young girls for marriage;
Liesl Louw-Vaudran. The specialist Africa journalist is investigating the state of South African diplomacy on the continent over the past 20 years;
Vashthi Nepaul. The educationist and champion of school debating is tackling the realities around helping gifted children from poor communities; and
The Very Reverend Michael Weeder. The Dean of St George’s Cathedral has proposed a biography of District Six-born activist and Treason Trialist Reg September.
The winner will be announced at this year’s Open Book Festival next month.
In just three years, the award has become a vibrant and valuable addition to the national literary landscape.
This year, inaugural winner Maria Phalime’s Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away, a take on the state of the healthcare system, was published.
Last year, journalist and editor Don Pinnock lifted the prize. His book on gangsterism in Cape Town will be out soon.
The goal of the award is to see the publication of independent, investigative manuscripts that add credible voices to South Africa’s social debate.