South African writer, filmmaker and photographer, Lidudumalingani has won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story titled ‘Memories We Lost’ published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015). The announcement was made at a dinner held this evening at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. 

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His victory comes with a £10,000 prize, an 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, invitations to speak at the Library of Congress, to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, Storymoja in Nairobi and Ake Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.

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‘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 – member of the Caine Prize Council the story, said, “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”.  

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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.


He edged out finalists, Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky’ published in Catapult (Catapult, USA, 2015), Tope Folarin (Nigeria) for ‘Genesis’ published in Callaloo (Johns Hopkins University Press, USA, 2014),  Bongani Kona (Zimbabwe) for ‘At Your Requiem’ published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015), Abdul Adan (Somalia/Kenya) for ‘The Lifebloom Gift’ published in The Gonjon Pin and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2014 (New Internationalist, United Kingdom, 2014)

Credit : Caine Prize