Lidudumalingani is the winner of the 2016 Cain Prize Award for African Writing for his short story – ‘Memories We Lost’ published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015). He was announced as the winner of £10,000 prize on Monday, 4 July at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
‘Memories We Lost’ tells the emotionally charged story of a girl who acts as protector of her sister, whose serious mental-health problems cause consternation in a South African village. Her situation deteriorates as her care is entrusted to Nkunzi, a local man who employs traditional techniques to rid people of their demons.
Delia Jarrett-Macauley praised the story, saying, “The winning story explores a difficult subject – how traditional beliefs in a rural community are used to tackle schizophrenia. this is a troubling piece, depicting the great love between two young siblings in a beautifully drawn Eastern Cape. Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists”.
Lidudumalingani is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. He was born in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, in a village called Zikhovane. Lidudumalingani has published short stories, non-fiction and criticism in various publications. His films have been screened at a number of film festivals.
The Cain Prize for African Writing began in 2000 and it has been termed
as Africa’s leading literary award. Alongside Lidudumalingani, this year’s edition was keenly contested by these four shortlisted entries:
Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria)- ‘What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky’.
Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe)- ‘At Your Requiem’.
Tope Folarin (Nigeria)- ‘Genesis’.
Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya)- ‘The Lifebloom Gift’.
The panel of judges for the seventeenth edition of the Cain Prize award included DeliaorJarrett-Macauley, Muthoni Garland, Adjoa Andoh, Dr Robert J Patterson and Mary Watson.
The winner of the Caine Prize will be given the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University, as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The winner will also be invited to speak at the Library of Congress. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500. The winner is invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, Storymoja in Nairobi and Ake Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.