Renowned Zimbabwean author and prominent feminist Tsitsi Dangarembga has been shortlisted for the St. Francis College Literary Prize. The prize is a biennial literary award that first came to life in 2009.
The prize is a celebration of mid-career authors in honour of a third to fifth book of fiction. A jury selects the winner and they are invited to to St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York for purposes of delivering a speech. It is pretty much a prestigious literary event as the winner walks away with a handsome $50,000.
Dangarembga could not hide her elation as she tweeted, “It’s an honour to be a finalist in this competition. I’m so grateful to the judges and all the people who gave so much to make THIS MOURNABLE BODY what it is. Wish me good fortune, folks!”
Tsitsi Dangarembga is one of the finest authors Zimbabwe, and Africa at large has ever produced. She is mostly known for her book Nervous Conditions that was published in 1988. That book won her the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 1989. Nervous Conditions was translated into many other languages, making it an international hit.
She wrote the script for the 1993 hit movie Neria. Neria became the highest-grossing movie in Zimbabwe and this was also aided by the fact that the soundtrack was done by the legebdary musician Oliver Mtukudzi.
Apart from this, she also directed her own documentaries and feature films which include Everyone’s Child in 1996 (becoming the first black woman in Zimbabwe to direct a movie) and Growing Stronger in 2005.
She has been an outspoken critic of the ills of the government, something she acknowledges herslef.
“Nervous Conditions didn’t get any traction in Zimbabwe,” Dangarembga said when she spoke with DW. “I have always been writing against power and that’s why things don’t always happen.”
She is always determined to speaking truth to power and is also a notable voice when it comes to airing out and expressing feminist views.