Futhi Ntshingila’s novel They Got To You Too was awarded the Sharjah International Book Fair Prize 2022 on November 3, 2022.
The Sharjah International Book Fair is one of the leading festivals in the Middle East and Africa region. At the opening ceremony, the fair typically awards the best books written over the last year by local and international writers. The international prize, worth 50,000 AED, has been won by among others David Baldacci, Sorraya Khan, Lauri Kubuitsile, and Cheluchi Onyemelukwe.
South African author Futhi Ntshingila, whose work explored themes around women and marginalised communities, was declared the winner of the Best International Fiction award for her third novel They Got To You Too. The award was handed over by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.
The novel, set in South Africa, is narrated in the first person by two characters bound to each other by their harrowing histories. One an 80-year-old white man haunted by the crimes he committed as an officer under the apartheid government, the other a compassionate black nurse who is caring for him, and hiding her own secrets. As the Covid-19 lockdown keeps them isolated, the bond deepens between these two unlikely friends and their personal histories bubble up to the surface.
Responding to the win Ntshingila said, “Thank you Sharjah International Book Fair for choosing this story. Thank you Bieke for meeting me there, Zodwa and Andrea for your support. So many other supportive friends to thank (you).”