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Thursday, July 30, 2009


Nasou Via Afrika and Arts, Culture and Tourism Department Partner to find new voices in local literature.

South Africa’s leading educational publishing company and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture join forces to nurture local authors and grow the market for local language literature

Nasou Via Afrika publishers ( and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism ( will launch seven captivating new isiZulu literature titles on July 30. This exciting launch is the fruits of a competition hosted by the two organisations that challenged KwaZulu-Natal authors to reach deep inside themselves to write a great new novel, short story or children’s book in isiZulu.

The competition was conceptualized as a joint publishing project between Nasou Via Afrika and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism to promote literature and reading in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as to give new and upcoming authors a chance to shine. To be published by a major book publishing house allows up-and-coming authors to develop their writing into a successful career, and allowing a new generation of authors to inspire and entertain South African children.

Local language publishing is vital to preserve and grow our rich cultural heritage,” says Alugumi Rathumbu, African languages publishing manager at Nasou Via Afrika, which is well known for publishing in many African languages. “We’re committed to keep on improving the quality and variety of local titles, giving authors a voice and allowing people to connect with their language and culture in their mother tongue. Having built up an extensive list of literature titles over the years, we were ideally placed to partner with the DAC on this initiative.”

The Department of Arts and Culture was the instigator and organisers of this competition, but looked for a suitable partner to help fund the prize money awarded to the winners and runners up, and to ensure that the books were professionally published once the winners were announced – with a high quality of book editing, cover art and printing, as well as promotion of the new titles to book buyers.

The winning books in each category were: Novels: Amandi’ Esambane (first place), Ithemba Lami (second place) and Ithemba Alibulali (third place). Children’s books: USimo uthanda ifeshini (first place), Isipho (second place), UFana noQethukile (third place). Short stories: Iqhaza (collection of the winning short stories).

The seven books are: Ithemba Lami by Lungile Zondi; Ithemba Alibulali by Maphili Shange; Amandi’ Esambane by Babhekile Annastatia Ngcobo; Iqhaza by Prof. LF Mathenjwa; Isipho by Nzimand; USimo uthanda ifeshini by Mzi Mngadi, and UFana noQethukile by Brightman Luthuli.

Nasou Via Afrika Publishers (NVA), a division of Via Afrika Group has been publishing top quality educational books and materials for over 40 years. This includes schools textbooks and educational materials for all school grades and learning areas and for FET Colleges. NVA is also the oldest and largest publisher of literature for schools with some of the country’s best-loved authors, numbering more than 350 literature titles in all genres in all 11 official languages. In 2008, the Department of Education, the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Library of South Africa publicly recognised NVA’s proud tradition of publishing literature in all official languages as part of the nation’s heritage.

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