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Noni Jabavu
Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

South African autobiographer was born in South Africa’s Eastern Cape to a distinguished Xhosa family of journalists and educators whose histories she charts in Drawn in Colour (1960) and The Ochre People (1963). As a teenager, she left South Africa to study in London, where she remained, working as a writer and in television. Both in its overt concerns-its nostalgic evocation of her rural childhood and exposure of the dehumanization of apartheid – and more obliquely, Jabavu’s work reflects her disrupted life history, her sense of belonging to ‘two worlds with two loyalties’.

Jabavu’s 1955 visit to South Africa provides the focal point for her writing. The Ochre People highlights three different regional cultures, from her family home, Middledrift, and her uncle’s farm at Tsolo, to the urban ‘locations’ of Johannesburg. Like Drawn in Colour, it combines autobiography with travel writing and broader family, social and cultural history. In her account of various family.

She was honoured with the South African Literary Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

 

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