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Toek Blignaut
Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
 Toek Blignaut distinguished herself as a journalist and writer. On her death the former Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Z. Jordan eulogized her for making a “sterling contribution to the development and preservation of our cultural heritage.”An internationally acclaimed, prizewinning author of 82 books, spanning a literary career half a century from 1957 to 2007, Blignaut’s works include children’s books, youth novels and prescribed, first year university works. She was vice-editor of Rooi Rose women’s magazine for 22 years and wrote Talana – the only national Afrikaans, teenage agony column – for 21 years. She joined the magazine after winning two competitions run by the then Afrikaanse Pers. Previously she had been writing stories for magazines on a freelance basis.

Blignaut was also an outstanding journalist, being the first white woman allowed to interview the original Modjadji, Queen Mother of the Balobedu, who is also regarded as the Rain Queen and the first to interview the world renowned Dr. Chris Barnard after his first heart transplant operation.

She wrote more than 200 short stories, dozens of magazine and radio serials, ran three book clubs for JP van der Walt Publishers and contributed articles to various magazines and newspapers. Blignaut’s most popular work is her first book, Donker op Nebo, written in Afrikaans and first published in 1970. Her other literary masterpieces include, Uit Hierdie Donker Nag and Pad na Monomotapa. She published her last book Silwerkruik, in 2006. At the time of her death she was writing her memoirs.

Blignaut’s soul mate was artist and sculptor Jaap Blignaut. She succumbed to a heart attack at age 83 in 2007. This was a month after being honoured with a South African Literary Award (SALA) Literary Lifetime Achievement Award .

Said Jordan: “ Blignaut was honoured for her selfless dedication to the development of South African literature and languages in an event organized by the wRite Associates in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture.”