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UJ’s Mandla J. Radebe secures top honour at Cultural and Creative Industry Awards

In a momentous celebration of literary excellence and cultural resonance, Mandla J. Radebe, Associate Professor in the Department of Strategic Communication and Director of the Centre for Data and Digital Communications at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), clinched the top accolade in the Literary Works Category for an Outstanding Non-Fiction Award at the inaugural Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI)Awards.

During a prestigious event held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday, March 30, 2024, Radebe was bestowed with the esteemed prize for his remarkable book titled “The Lost Prince of the ANC: The Life and Times of Jabulani Nobleman ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo”.

The Cultural and Creative Industry Awards (CCI Awards) stand as a pinnacle of recognition within South Africa’s dynamic creative landscape. Designed to honour exceptional achievements across diverse creative spheres, these awards spotlight individuals who exemplify artistic brilliance, technological innovation, and steadfast commitment to their craft. Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, highlighted the significance of these awards, stating that they “intentionally lift and support the creative and cultural riches that unite people, nourish the spirit, animate communities, inspire, and cultivate a vibrant nation, while also benchmarking ourselves against the best in the world.”

Prof Radebe was announced as winner in the Books and Publishing (Non-Fiction) category.

Published by Jacana Media in December 2022, Radebe’s book serves as the definitive biography of Mzala Nxumalo, a prominent intellectual figure within the South African liberation movement. Intimately yet analytically crafted, the book traces Mzala’s life from his birth to his untimely passing in London in 1991, offering profound insights into his role as a critical thinker, writer, and relentless interrogator. Beyond merely chronicling Mzala’s journey, Radebe illuminates the radical tradition that flourished during the clandestine era of the liberation struggle, presenting readers with a compelling narrative that reshapes perceptions of politics and society.

Upon receiving the prestigious award, Radebe dedicated it to the memory of Mzala Nxumalo and the valiant youth of the 1976 generation who sacrificed their lives for the nation’s freedom. He expressed gratitude to Jacana Media for their steadfast support and belief in the project, as well as to the University of Johannesburg for their invaluable assistance. Acknowledging the pivotal role played by Mzala Nxumalo’s family and his own, Radebe humbly accepted the accolade, recognizing it as a testament to the enduring significance of South African history.

Radebe’s triumph at the CCI Awards not only celebrates his literary brilliance but also reaffirms the enduring power of storytelling to illuminate the complexities of history and inspire collective reflection.

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