Congratulations to Tsitsi Dangarembga on being awarded the 2021 German Peace Prize
More about the book!
‘I’m sure you would have preferred to give up on occasion, Tsitsi, to simply give in to the temptation to just lead a normal, ordinary life. […] But you are far from ordinary.’
These were the words of Kenyan academic, community activist and author Auma Obama to the German Peace Prize recipient for 2021, Tsitsi Dangarembga.
The prize is valued at €25,000 (R422,600). The Foundation Board of the Peace Prize selected Dangarembga, someone, they said, ‘who has made an important contribution to peace, humanity and understanding between peoples.’
Previous winners include Amartya Sen (2020), Margaret Atwood (2017), Orhan Pamuk (2005) and Chinua Achebe (2002).
The jury commended Dangarembga for combining ‘inimitable storytelling with a universally compelling perspective’, and said her trilogy of novels – Nervous Conditions, The Book of Not and This Mournable Body – ‘reveals social and moral conflicts that go far beyond regional references, thereby creating the stage for the discussion of globally relevant questions of justice’.
In her acceptance speech, Dangarembga said:
‘There will be no miracle cures for our errors of thought. What we can look to is to change our thought patterns word by word, consciously and consistently over time, and to persevere until results are seen in the way we do things and in the outcomes of our actions.’
With her 1988 novel Nervous Conditions, Dangarembga became the first Black Zimbabwean woman to publish a novel in English. The Book of Not, published in 2006, continued with Tambudzai’s story. This Mournable Body completed the trilogy, 30 years later.
Dangarembga also recently won the PEN Pinter Prize.
- ‘… imagining that what you are saying will one day be true.’ – Read an exclusive excerpt from Tsitsi Dangarembga’s new book This Mournable Body