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rules roost on book awards night
Stanley Kwenda, The Finacial Gazette
August 04, 2005
LOCAL Publishing house
Weaver Press ruled the roost at the literary awards ceremony held on Tuesday
night at the official opening of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair.
A number of emerging
writers also scooped some awards at this year's ceremony but the spotlight
was on the publishing category in which Weaver Press claimed the lion's
"It was a battle of the publishers though we were very happy to have
some new writers winning prizes in different categories, unlike in the
past when we had the same faces gracing the podium," said Jairos
Kangira, chief judge of the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association (ZBPA)
literary awards 2005.
Weaver Press received
nine awards for the different books it has published. Among the books
is Sketches Of The High-Density Life written by journalist Wonder Guchu,
which won the second prize in the fiction-writing category. Weaver also
won in the best fiction writing, children's literature, non-fiction and
educational books categories.
Publishing giant ZPH
was also a contender, garnering the second highest number of awards after
"It was not easy
to come up with the winners, we were looking at things like the quality
of editing, picture relevance to the story in the book and printing quality
of the book," said Kangira.
A total of 15 categories
were featured. There were no entries in the children's literature for
ages three to seven. This category was usually dominated by the late Gweru
writer, Stephen Alumenda. Last year the Book Fair Trust honoured leading
local writers in the 75 best books project where UK-based writer Chenjerai
Hove hogged the limelight with a hat trick of awards. Other publishing
houses such as Longman Zimbabwe, Mambo Press, University of Zimbabwe and
College Press also took part.
The fair was officially
opened by South Africa's first speaker of parliament, Dr Frene Gwinala,
who gave a moving lecture on operation Murambatsvina in her opening remarks.
In her speech she commented extensively on the clean-up campaign and the
subsequent report over it, which was compiled by the highest-ranking African
female diplomat at the UN, Anna Kajumulo Tabaijuka. Her speech was in
line with this year's indaba theme "African Rights." Dub-poet
Albert Nyati also gave a brave performance, paying tribute to some of
the country's late writers.
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