Eastern Cape born writer, filmmaker and photographer, Lidudumalingani has just won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing, Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled 'Memories We Lost' published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015).
The writer who grew up herding cattle and moulding goats from clay in rural Transkei also received a £10,000 prize at a dinner held on 4 July at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
‘Memories We Lost’ tells the emotionally charged story of a girl in a rural village in the Eastern Cape who acts as protector of her sister, whose serious mental-health problems (schizophrenia) 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.
Multi-layered, and gracefully narrated, this short story leaves the reader full of sympathy and wonder at the plight of its protagonists.
As the winner, he will have the opportunity to spend a month at Georgetown University as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. He will also be invited to speak at the Library of Congress and take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, Storymoja in Nairobi and Ake Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria.