The Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards, biannual awards recognising writers, poets, and visual artists published in Doek! Literary Magazine, were unveiled on May 31, 2021.

Namibia has been a pretty quiet contributor to the body of work that is the African literary canon in the last half century. In the last few years, there have been moves to add to that contribution. Doek! the country’s first literary journal was cofounded by Remy Ngamije and Mutaleni Nadimi in 2019. Over four issues, it has given a platform to many new voices from Namibia in writing, poeting, visual arts, and more.

This relatively new publication yesterday announced the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards, the first major ones in the Southern African country. They seek to bring a wider Namibian and international audience to selected works, writers, poets, and visual artists. They will be awarded every two years to celebrate the works of four Namibian literary artists—two writers (fiction and nonfiction), a poet, and a visual artist—published in the Doek! Literary Magazine (Doek!).

Each winning literary artist from the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts categories will be awarded NAD5000 in cash sponsored by Bank Windhoek. The winners are also presented with a unique trophy commissioned from a Namibian artist. Bank Windhoek, the official sponsor of the awards, is a prominent and active supporter of Namibian art and artists.

For those who want to keep up with the award here are key dates;

  • July 1: announcement of the judges and the commissioned artist.
  • August 2: announcement of the the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards’ concept and design.
  • September 1: announcement of the shortlists.
  • November 2021: The Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards gala dinner (date and venue to be announced later).

For more information about this exciting new initiative please click here.