Jacana Media posted on its Facebook page photos from the awarding ceremonies of the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award held on 4 November. I avoid being photographed most times – as I very much prefer people to read my work. But it was a special evening. I got to shake hands with a lot of important people, including Ambassador Roeland van de Geer, Head of the European Union delegation to South Africa. One of the many interesting moments I remember was the look of surprise from the highly respected Dr Mongane Wally Serote when he saw who had written “Illegal, Undocumented.” He judged the competition without any idea who wrote what. For the record, I never achieved this much recognition in my country of birth. Before the release of my first book in 1992, Beneath an Angry Star, I remember quite a number of people congratulating me not for having published at such a young age, but for apparently winning a national literary competition. Alas, it turned out as mere rumour – or worse, that the judges had changed their minds once they found out I was practically an unknown poet. Gripes. Time to let go of that, Jim. You can’t expect everyone to like you or what you write. All you can do is keep on writing – whether it gets read is another matter. And so I will. I have to.
Tag Archives: Undocumented
Checkers is one of the big supermarket chains here in SA. They must have to deal with massive numbers of people who come to their premises – mainly to do their shopping, one hopes. Security, a word that means the opposite in some (most?) cases, has become a major concern to most businesses in this country, particularly as the holiday season approaches. The rise of armed robberies at shopping malls is a disturbing reality that shoppers here now face. In fact, one such incident had taken place just a few weeks ago at the particular mall we frequent.
This post has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the way I must have looked to the personnel monitoring the security screens at a Checkers when my beaten up cellphone notified me of an email. My daughter who was standing next to me thought her father had gone bonkers. I was trying very hard not to jump up and down. I was also beaming at every stranger who walked past. I was, to put it mildly, overwhelmed by a most unexpected news.
The official announcement has just been released, so I am posting it here. I have been warned that maybe I am blowing my own horn… sometimes a little too loudly. I want to think of it as sharing some good news. Here it is. Books LIVE has the same announcement up.