|Lifetime Achievement Literary Award|
| Poet, Publisher and Cultural Activist, James Matthews was born in District Six, Cape Town to working class parents. After completing standard seven, Matthews began to work; and held a variety of jobs, including newspaper boy, office messenger, clerk, and telephonist.His first writings were published in 1946 at the age of 17. Soon he found himself working as a journalist. Over the years, Matthews contributed to many national newspapers such as the Golden City Post, The Cape Times, and Drum, and later to the independent community newspaper, Muslim News. A leading articulator of the Black Consciousness philosophy, most of Matthews’ publications were banned by the Apartheid regime including his debut collection Cry Rage that he co-authored with Gladys Thomas in 1972.
Over the years, Matthews read and lectured at several German Universities, receiving the freedom of Lehrte and Nürnberg (both in Germany), while the University of Iowa in the USA awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in Writing.