Winners Unveiled in South Africa’s 2024 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards

You are currently viewing Winners Unveiled in South Africa’s 2024 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards

(Image Credit: Writing Africa)

The 2024 Humanities and Social Sciences Awards ceremony in South Africa honoured the accomplishments and valuable contributions of scholars, researchers, and intellectuals who have knowledge and understanding in the fields of humanities and social sciences. Taking place in Pretoria, South Africa the event highlighted work in areas of study recognizing individuals whose impactful research and groundbreaking ideas have made a significant impact on society. The winners were announced on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Awards welcome entries from South African publishers, academics from local universities, and artists linked to academic institutions. These awards honor groundbreaking, relevant, and creative works that advance the fields of humanities and social sciences. They recognize individuals dedicated to shaping post-apartheid and postcolonial perspectives through research, artistic creations, and digital humanities projects which are also coordinated by South Africa’s National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

On March 13, the eve of the ninth annual award ceremony, the nominees for the 2024 awards were announced. The following night, a vibrant ceremony led by Natalia Molebatsi was held at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, where the shortlisted artists and award winners were announced simultaneously. The shortlisted candidates and winners of each category are hereby highlighted below with the winners highlighted in bold.

Best Nonfiction Edited volume

  • Revisiting Sol Plaatje’s Mafikeng Diary: Reconsideration and Restoration, Sabata-Mpho Mokae and Brian Willian, by Jacana Media (winner)
  • South African Review Policy Volume 4: Edited by Lesley Masters, Jo Ansie van Wyk, and Philani Mthembu, AISA Press
  • State Capture in South Africa: How and Why It Happened, by Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Peter Vale, Wits Press

Best Nonfiction Monograph

  • Covid and Custom in Rural South Africa: Culture, Healthcare, and the State, by Leslie Bank and Nelly Sharpley, UKZN Press
  • Apartheid’s Black Soldiers: Un-national Wars and Militaries in Southern Africa, by Lennart Bollinger, Jacana Media
  • Guerrillas and Combative Mothers: Women and the Armed Struggle in South Africa, by Siphokazi Magadla, UKZN Press
  • Durban’s Casbah: Bunny Chows, Bolsheviks, and Bioscopes, by Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vehad, UKZN Press (winner)

Best Nonfiction: Biography

  • Eto La Mofaladi, by Moses Seletisha, Matete Publishing
  • Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala, by Joel Cabrita, Wits Press

(This category had two joint winners which is surprisingly competitive).

Best Fiction: Emerging Author

  • The Institute for Creative Dying, Jarred Thompson, by Picador Africa
  • The Weight of Shade, Michael Boyd, by Karavan Press
  • Every Dies, Frankie Murrey, by Karavan Press
  • Peaches and Smeets, by Ashti Juggath, Modjaji Books (winner)

Best Fiction: Edited Volume

  • Fluid: The Freedom to be, by Joanne Hichens and Karina M Szczurek, Tattoo Press (winner)

Best Fiction Short Stories

  • What Remains, by Dawn Garisch, Karavan Press (winner)
  • Tears of the Weaver, by Zaheera Jina Asvat, Modjaji Books

Best Fiction Category

  • At Fire Hour, by Barry Gilder, Jacana Media
  • Breasts etc, by Nthikeng Mohlele, Blank Page Books
  • Decima, by Eben Venter, Penguin (Penguin Random House SA imprint)
  • Langabi: Season of Beasts, by Christopher Mlalazi, Mother (Jacana Media imprint)
  • My Side of the Ocean, by Ron Irwin, Pan Macmillan South Africa
  • The Ghost of Sam Webster, by Craig Higginson, Picador Africa (winner)

The Humanities and Social Sciences Awards celebrate not only individual scholars but also the significance of humanistic inquiry and social science research in addressing contemporary challenges and enriching our understanding of the world.

Congratulations to all the winners!


Source: The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and Writing Africa


Oluwatobiloba Bakare