The Sunday News
Nonsikelelo Ndlovu, Online Reporter
The board of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers’ association, has named Zimbabwean author and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga the 2021 laureate of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
Dangarembga was named the recipient of the prestigious award, which was created in 1950, and endowed with €25,000 ($30,000) in prize money.
The celebrated author recently won the PEN Pinter Prize, while she was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize last year for her offering, The Mournable Body. The book is the third novel in a trilogy portraying a woman in different phases of her life, from her youth to middle age- stories depicting the struggle for female self-determination in Zimbabwe
She is also a founding member of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa, an organisation that supports works of art and audio-visual productions in Zimbabwe.
“Dangarembga combines inimitable storytelling with a universally compelling perspective in a body of work that has made her not only one of the most important artists in her native land, but also a popular and widely-recognized voice of Africa in contemporary literature,” said the jury of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association in a statement on Monday.
After her debut novel, the author — who was born in 1959 — studied film at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin from 1989 to 1996, moving on to a Doctorate in Africa Studies at Berlin’s Humboldt University afterwards.
While doing so, she wrote the script for the film Neria (1993), which became the highest-grossing film in Zimbabwe. Contributing to its success was an equally acclaimed soundtrack by the country’s most internationally recognized cultural icon and musician, Oliver Mtukudzi.
Dangarembga also directed her own documentaries and feature films, including Everyone’s Child (1996), which was the first feature film directed by a Black Zimbabwean woman.
The award ceremony for the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade will take place on 24 October 2021, in Frankfurt.