n Marcus’s first collection of poetry, Sonatas, continues to win awards. After winning a National Arts Merit Award for the best first published book, the book has now been selected as the best Poetry and Drama book published in Zimbabwe in 2005. Some of the poems in Sonatas have the flavour of Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, but geography is secondary as the appeal of his work is universal.
To quote John Eppel, “Few Zimbabwean poets have managed to move convincingly beyond the contradictions that colonialism has imposed on us; but Deon Marcus does; and he does it over and over again….”
Local historian Pathisa Nyathi’s latest book, Zimbabwe’s Cultural Heritage won first prize in the Best Non-Fiction Academic: Humanities and Social Sciences category. Zimbabwe’s Cultural Heritage is a collection of pieces on the culture of the Ndebele, Shona, Tonga, Kalanga, Nambiya, Xhosa and Venda.
Wim Boswinkel’s novel Erina won first prize in the Best First Book – Fiction and Non-Fiction. Erina can be read as a love story, where Johan comes to Africa to manage a tea plantation. He meets Erina, and his life changes forever. The story takes a leap into the unknown, blending an African setting with a fantastic premise.
Brian Jones, a director of ‘amaBooks, said he was “delighted with the awards, which showed the wealth of creative writing talent that exists in Bulawayo.”
Bulawayo Publishers 'amaBooks won three first prizes and one third prize at the Zimbabwe Book Publishers Association Awards, held during the recent Zimbabwe Book Fair in Harare. The late Ndabezihle Sigogo's book Amandla Othando also clinched the first prize in the Ndebele literature category.