On Thursday, 1 July 2021, the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards announced Beauty Boois, Dr Coletta Kandemiri, Bruni Lubbe, and Shawn Van Eeden, as the judging panel and Romeo Sinkala and Attila Giersch, as its commissioned artists. The judges and commissioned artists are well vested in the Namibian literary community and the design field.
Doek's Founder, Rémy Ngamije, said having the judges and commissioned artists on board would make the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards a memorable success. Bank Windhoek's Head of Corporate Social Investments, Sponsorship, and Events, Bronwyn Moody, echoed Ngamije's sentiments. "We are looking forward to this Awards with the utmost excitement," she said.
A first for Namibia, the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards recognises Namibian literary artists published in the Doek Literary Magazine, the country's first and only literary magazine. It will celebrate four Namibian literary artists - two writers in fiction and nonfiction, a poet, and a visual artist.
Judges and commissioned artists profiles
Having contributed to Doek's success and publications, the judges will be responsible for the adjudication process. The commissioned artists will ensure the Award's international standards and creativity.
Boois is a genderqueer, intersectional feminist with a professional background in psychological counselling. Holding an Honours Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Namibia (Unam), their writing focuses on social justice issues, mental health, women, human, and LGBTQI+ rights. Their work has appeared in various national and international publications. Their debut novel |Namgu's Escape Theory was published by the Unam Press in 2020 and was one of Brittle Paper's 50 Most Notable African Books of 2020.
A holder of an Honours Degree in English, obtained from the University of Zimbabwe, Dr Kandemiri is passionate about literacy. She received her Master's in English studies from Unam with a cum laude distinction in 2018; she was also presented with the Chancellor's and Vice-Chancellor's Awards. Her PhD examined how contemporary glitches in present-day Namibia stemmed from the 1904-1908 Herero-Nama Genocide. Dr Kandemiri has attended and presented at conferences, and her list of publications includes journal articles and book chapters.
Born in Gobabis, Lubbe is a former mathematics teacher, a passionate reader, and a local and international literature champion. She works at the Book Den, where she is well-known to city-based bibliophiles.
Van Eeden is an award-winning Namibian photographer whose design career started in London, England. After 12 years in London, he moved back to Namibia and established CreativeLAB, a photography studio. Van Eeden's work has been shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Awards and has won various honours at One Eyeland Photography, the Epica, the Lucie, and the Loeries Awards.
A senior art director at Weathermen & Co, Sinkala is a digital artist and illustrator. He is passionate about comic books, animation, and character design as an African mythology and folklore artist. One of his publications is SUMBU, a Namibian independence book that won the Best Children's Book Award in 2018 at the Namibian Children's Book Forum. He also co-authored Jahohora, a book based on the novel of the same name by Mari Serebrov. Jahohora was published in Herero, German, and English. It is listed on the Amazon and ABC websites.
Giersch is an award-winning Namibian jewellery designer. In 1997, he was the first Namibian to win the prestigious Southern African Shining Light Jewellery Award. The competition allows the best diamond jewellery designers from Southern Africa to showcase their talents. His Tameka collection was exhibited in Angola, Cuba, Finland, and Germany. In 1999, Giersch won the Plat Africa Award for the Most Creative Design in the platinum design discipline and received an Honourable Mention in 2000. Among his notable exhibitions, Giersch's work featured at the 1998 World Expo, the National Art Gallery of Namibia, the 2007 Finnish Fashion Week, and the 2011 Angolan Fashion Week. In 2006 and 2010, Giersch designed the Miss Namibia Pageant crown.
In September 2021, the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards will announce the shortlisted writers, poets, and visual artists. For more information on the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards, visit https://doek.afrca.