2021 Shortlist Namibian writers, poets, and visual artists shortlisted for the 2021 Bank Windhoek Literary Awards.

Showcasing the breadth and depth of Namibian literary talent published in Doek! Literary Magazine, the shortlist of the inaugural edition of the Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards features some of the most resonant fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art from Namibia. As part of Doek’s ongoing mission to grow a diverse, curious, and robust literary culture within the country, these awards, made possible through a partnership with Bank Windhoek, are a special milestone: they are an opportunity to recognise and reward the literary artists who compose and share works of literature that help bring Namibian writing to Namibians and the rest of the world.

The 2021 shortlist spotlights works with themes that highlight the complex realities of Namibian life. But they also, through the craft expended in their composition, possess universal threads that can be appreciated by readers in Africa and the world. Migration and homecoming; the friction between history and heritage; confrontations with patriarchal systems and the celebration of the strengths of women; radical visions of youth in bloom; and, more recently, isolation and reaching for hope during the COVID-19 pandemic—these are just some of the themes that are explored by the short stories, essays, poems, illustrations, and photographs selected by this year’s panel of judges to represent Namibian literature.

In a statement, the judges said: “Our mandate, to choose works which best displayed the diversity of literary creation in the country from a longlist of 28 works, made the selection process challenging but interesting. All the entries featured on the longlist were wonderful, and we wish all the storytellers strength and determination as they create their future works. Namibia’s population may be small, but its artists produce works that cover a wide creative spectrum. With this year’s shortlist, we hope we have showcased just that.”

Congratulations to the writers, poets, and visual artists shortlisted for the 2021 Bank Windhoek Doek Literary Awards:


Filemon Iiyambo
for “December
published in Issue 4: November, 2020

Filemon Iiyambo is a Namibian writer and former newspaper columnist for the Namibian Sun. He has also contributed social commentary articles for the New Era. A qualified geologist, he is now an educator. His work was included in Erotic Africa, an anthology of short stories published by Brittle Paper in December, 2018. He is currently working on a novel.

Dalene Kooper
for “The Letter
published in Issue 4: November, 2020

Dalene Kooper is a Namibian writer and a media student at the University of Namibia.

Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo
for “Silhouette
published in Issue 5: March, 2021

Ndawedwa Denga Hanghuwo is a Namibian writer. He is also a student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology pursuing a degree in English Literature.


Frowin Becker
for “Is There A Doctorate In The House?
published in Issue 5: March, 2021

Frowin Becker is a Namibian PhD candidate at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand where he is investigating the power of acoustic monitoring as a tool to measure environmental change. He holds a master’s degree in Conservation Ecology from Stellenbosch University and has worked with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Frowin is also a board member of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Africa section.

Ndakolute Ndilula
for “Auralgraph: Spice In The Wind
published in Issue 5: March, 2021

Ndakolute Ndilula is a Namibian DJ and music producer known for his work at the intersection of hip-hop, house, Afrobeat, and electronic genres. A graduate of the Academy of Sound Engineering, he brings an out-of-the-box approach to the country’s sonic culture.

Natasha Uys
for “Ouma Sofie’s Gold
published in Issue 6: July, 2021

Natasha Uys is a journalist and editor from Windhoek, Namibia. She is currently studying Media Management through the Sol Plaatje Institute at Rhodes University.


Ros Limbo
for “Queens In Your Bloodline
published in Issue 3: July, 2020

Ros Limbo is a Namibian writer and avid yogi. She has a BCom Degree in Accounting from Rhodes University (South Africa) as well as a certificate in Afrikan Feminist and Gender Studies from the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI). She also contributes to The Mighty, The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), and The Depression Army.

Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu
for “Green And Greening
published in Issue 4: November, 2020

Pauline Buhle Ndhlovu is a Zimbabwean-born Namibian curator and writer whose work explores the themes of land, memory, healing, time, and senescence. She is drawn to visual anthropology as a form of memory-making. Pauline has a degree in anthropology and works in the culture and development sector.

Alacia Armstrong
for “From The Fury Of A Dying Sun
published in Issue 5: March, 2021

Alacia Armstrong is a Cape Town-based Namibian poet who started writing on the shores of Henties Bay. She is a research project manager supporting drug discovery teams at the University of Cape Town.


Namafu Amutse
for “Chrysalis
published in Issue 4: November, 2020

Namafu Amutse is filmmaker, photographer, art director, and writer from Swakopmund, Namibia. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Education Honours degree in English and German at the University of Namibia (UNAM). Her work is fuelled by Southern African tradition, feminism, and Afrofuturism. She also wrote and directed her short film ‘Mukumo’, which premiered in July, 2020 at the National Theatre of Namibia.

Katherine Hunter
for “Becoming Home
published in Issue 4: November, 2020

Katherine Hunter is a Namibian illustrator, graphic designer, and dancer. She is interested in comic book illustration and fantasy fiction. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Visual Communication Design (Illustration) at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography, her honours degree in illustration, and her master’s degree in art education from Stellenbosch University. Katherine works as a graphic designer and typesetter at HouseFinder Magazine. She has also recently launched her own Namibian art brand, Maan Atelier, which focuses on creating fantasy artwork and stories.

Immanuel Natangwe Hafeni
for “Reach
published in Issue 5: March, 2021

Immanuel Natangwe Hafeni is a self-taught visual artist born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia. He is slowly emerging despite the hardships of the Namibian underground art scene. His journey explores a combination of different art forms such as culture, design, aesthetics, architecture, collage, photography, and cinematography.

Cover Image: Windmill.
© Cara Grobelaar.