Ntone Edjabe with the Prince Claus Fund price - capital photos

South African resident writer, poet and DJ Ntone Edjabe was awarded with the prestigious Prince Claus Award during a presentation at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Dec. 14 2011.

He is now the proud winner of 100,000 Euros. It’s the icing on the cake, because the fund was supporting the South African already for some time.

“For the first time we had a donor, not one who immediately demanded that we would help the malnourished children first . We could just keep making art. And we do. “

Ntone Edjabe with the Royal Family - capital photos

Her Majesty the Queen and Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange, Princess Máxima, Prince Friso, Princess Mabel, Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien attended the presentation of the Prince Claus Awards at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Wednesday, Dec. 14 . His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn awarded the prize of the first Pan-African magazine Chimurenga, which plays an important role in breaking taboos on the African continent. Ten other artists, thinkers, journalists and organizations including Tibet / China, Zimbabwe and Kazakhstan, were also honored for their commitment to culture and development. The Prince Claus Fund stimulates and protects all of 15 years culture and freedom of expression in the developing countries.


Chimurenga is an innovative, Pan African, cultural platform based in South Africa founded by Ntone Edjabe (1970, Douala, Cameroon), a writer and DJ, who attended the University of Lagos but was ‘educated’ by Nigerian musician and radical thinker Fela Kuti.

Edjabe relocated to Cape Town in 1993 and set up the Pan African Market as a space for a free flow of ideas and projects in a context marred by xenophobia. In 2002 he launched the Chimurenga magazine to stimulate original perspectives on the contemporary African experience. It offers fresh interpretations, analyses, poetry, experimental texts and visual materials by leading creative thinkers and radical practitioners in a multiplicity of disciplines from Africa and elsewhere.

Its titles include ‘Music is The Weapon’, ‘Futbol, Politricks and Ostentatious Cripples’, ‘Black Gays and Mugabes’ and ‘The Curriculum is Everything’. Chimurenga magazine’s 2,500 print-run is distributed to enthusiastic followers in African countries and internationally. Selected articles are posted on Chimurenga’s website and available as ‘pocket literature’. Making strategic use of media and collaborations, Chimurenga’s activities include two editions of the Pan African Space Station, a 30-day series of performances and radio broadcasts expanding notions of African music.

The Chimurenga Library, a unique collection of independent African cultural periodicals, is accessible online and tours as an exhibition. Chimurenga Sessions are interventions in public spaces, one notable example being a demonstration of the politics of archiving in Cape Town’s Public Library indicating connections between conventionally quarantined classes of knowledge. Chimurenga co-produces: the biennial African Cities Reader, re-interpreting urban forms, with the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities; the Chimurenga Chronicle, re-examining the xenophobic violence of 2008 in a global context, with Kenya’s Kwani Trust and Nigeria’s Cassava Republic Press; and Pilgrimages, an attempt to counter media distortions through literary authors, with the Chinua Achebe Centre for African Writers and Artists.

Chimurenga’s network of cutting-edge contributors has gained an audience that includes public intellectuals, social leaders and activists who are instrumental in shaping Africa’s trajectory. Ntone Edjabe and Chimurenga are honoured for the outstanding quality, originality and impact of their productions, for challenging established definitions and segregations of knowledge and expression, for stimulating Pan African culture and development in a global context of rising xenophobia, and for their unwavering commitment to intellectual autonomy, diversity and freedom.

source Prince Clause Fund website / NRC Handelsblad 14 December 2011

see also this related post on ‘Staffrider’, an early alternative South African independent magazine

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