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Entertainment - Date: 27 May 2021
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 1085
The African Authors and Poetry Awards (APAPA) has gone from strength to strength and managed to continue presenting their annual programmes, despite financial constraints and the impact of the lockdown regulations.
APAPA, led by 28-year-old single mother, Livhuwani Ratshitanda, has been at the forefront of the literature industry for the past four years now. Livhuwani started the organisation after she realised that African writers do not get nearly enough recognition for their work.
“I wanted us to celebrate the value that the work of African writers holds,” she said. “I grew up reading books by African writers whose talents I admired. Sometimes it takes over a year or even several years for a writer to finish a certain project, often in complete self-isolation. I admire such a writer’s strength and determination.”
For a young girl who grew up both in the township, which offered more of a fast and vibey lifestyle, and in a rural village with its tranquillity, Livhuwani is an untiring nation builder who has grown into a woman who can adapt to any culture and still function as a social being. “I want poets and writers from all walks of life to get the kind of recognition they deserve, and for their work to be appreciated and celebrated,” she said.
Livhuwani is a very talented woman, being a writer, photographer, film maker, and cosmetic and jewellery boutique operator.
When she started out with APAPA, she had only four sponsors but managed to organise the event with money from her own pocket and the assistance of her mother, who also loves art and literature. “My mom was a single mother too and encourages other young, single mothers out there not give up on their dreams,” she said. “Mom always tells me that, in all circumstances, I must be strong and keep the passion going. She promotes love, peace and respect above everything else.”
For more information on how to enter the APAPA Awards, visit their Facebook page. Entries close on 30 May. The award ceremony will be held in September and October this year. Exact dates will be announced in due course.
Livhuwani Ratshitanda has been at the forefront of writer and poet promotions. Picture supplied.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.