Background – Band of Troubadours

An Anthology Of Mzansi’s Literary Finest

Published in 2008 through the partnership of the wRite associates, Nutrend Publishing, the Department of Arts and Culture and the South African Literary Awards (SALA), the publication, Band of Troubadours, is a legacy project of the South African Literary Awards (SALA), anthologising the work of the 43 (forty three) SALA recipients since inception in 2005 to 2007. These include Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer, National Poet Laureate Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, world-renowned poets and authors Noni Jabavu, Miriam Tlali, Bessie Head, Dorah Taylor, Toek Blignaut, Ronnie Govender, Chris van Wyk, Bongani Madondo, Victor Dlamini, Ephraim Lesoro, James Matthews, Don Mattera, Gladys Thomas, Dalene Matthee, Phyllis Naidoo, Adam Small, Dennis Brutus, Athol Fugard and Ingoapele Madingoane.

Band of Troubadours takes on the crucial role of the griot that is the record, the archive and the mirror of a people’s excellence in the art of all time. In this book, poetry, short story, essays and personal anecdotes are collected and showcased to capture the thoughts, ideas, values, experiences, hopes, frustrations and dreams of a nation for over a period that stretches more than six decades.

We believe that writers in indigenous languages have rarely been put on the same platform with their English-language counterparts. In Band of Troubadours, we saw it appropriate that the rich and textured experiences of our indigenous people chronicled within the nuances of their culture and languages be mainstreamed.

It is our hope that this book would not only give more attention and interest to these awards, but will also revive interest in our literary treasures by old and new literary followers, scholars, readers and learners.

The second edition of Band of Troubadours will be published in 2012.