Dangarembga Recognised for Democracy Advocacy.

by Adenike Adeodun

Tsitsi Dangarembga, a prominent Zimbabwean writer and filmmaker, received recognition for her dedication to freedom, democracy, and human rights. The esteemed Africa Freedom Prize will be awarded to her on October 5 at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) sponsors this award, honouring her efforts for political change in Zimbabwe.

Every year, people around the globe mark World Rabies Day on September 28. This year, they’ve chosen the compelling theme: “All for one, one health for all.”

The FNF rewards individuals who show outstanding commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights in Africa. They’ve chosen Dangarembga for the award due to her strong dedication to these principles.

Dangarembga’s brave political reform protest led to her arrest, as the foundation’s statement points out. However, she stands strong, exemplifying courage. The international community is now more aware of reformists’ challenges in Zimbabwe, especially with her trial.

Notable figures like Mmusi Maimane, Bobi Wine, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Gareth Cliff have won the Africa Freedom Prize before, as reported by Newsday Zimbabwe.

Dangarembga’s writing skills attract global praise. The Norwegian Writers Association honoured her bravery and literary work earlier this year. She also received the 2022 Norwegian Publishers’ Association Freedom of Expression Award.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Dangarembga shared her gratitude. She highlighted the surprising recognition from FNF, given that her stories centre on everyday people. She mentioned the tough storytelling climate in Zimbabwe, especially for women.

Dangarembga believes in diverse storytelling methods. When traditional forms get suppressed, she chooses different ways, such as peaceful protests. She hopes the award might boost appreciation for varied African creative narratives.

She also discussed the goals of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust, which she helped establish. The institute aims to bring transformative narratives to African communities.

Dangarembga, born in Mutoko, Zimbabwe, in 1959, debuted with her novel Nervous Conditions in 1988. Although local publishers initially rejected it, the book achieved global success. In 2018, BBC listed it among the top 100 stories that shaped the world.

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