South Africa

‘I am deeply honoured,’ – Stogie T on being announced as part of Caine Prize judging panel

Stogie T Judging panel

Tumi ‘Stogie T’ Molekane was announced as one of the five judges for this year’s Caine prize for African writing.

“I am deeply honoured to be a part of the judging panel for the Caine prize for African writing,” wrote the rapper in a brief statement.

“The Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered charity whose aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience using our annual literary award.”

Also part of the panel is award-winning Nigerian author and 2024 Caine Prize shortlist, Chika Unigwe who will chair the panel, Sierra Leonean artist Julianknxx, writer and filmmaker Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu and Ghanaian novelist Ayesha Harruna-Attah.

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“I’m particularly thrilled by the diverse array of specialisms represented by the judges – each member is acclaimed in their respective fields and brings a unique perspective and expertise to the table,” averred Interim director of the Prize, Vimbai Shire in a statement.

“Together they will bring their rich tapestry of voices, their passion and their own experiences of storytelling to the judging process and I’m excited to see which stories will capture their hearts – and ours.”

The five will be adjudicating short stories entries from African authors, with the shortlisted stories and their authors expected to be announced in mid-July.

The judges will meet in person in September to select a winner from the five shortlisted authors, and announce the winner in a ceremony in London in September.

The Citizen reached out to Stogie T but he wasn’t available for comment.

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Likeness to musical storytelling

“The short story bares a salient likeness to musical storytelling for me,” said the Hello Kitty rapper.

“Within a bounded length one is asked to find pace, rhythm, charisma, cohesive literary form, reason, conflict, resolution, or indeed subvert all these all while being wickedly compelling. It’s exciting stuff. I look forward to encountering all the enriching magic from the entries,” said the South African rapper.

Sir Michael Caine, not the English actor but former Chairman of Booker plc. Caine was the Chairman of the ‘Africa 95’ arts festival in Europe and Africa in 1995 and for nearly 25 years Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee.

After his death, friends and colleagues decided to establish a prize of £10,000 to be awarded annually in his memory. The awards were established in 2000.

Each writer shortlisted for the Caine Prize will be awarded £500, and the winner will receive a £10,000 prize. If a work in translation is chosen as the winning story, the prize will be shared between the author and the translator.

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New Music from Stogie T

Stogie was expected to release a six track EP in mid-March, titled Shallow. In an interview with the Sobering Podcast the seasoned rapper made a distinction between an album and an EP.

“For me it’s always meant that like, album is…we throw everything at it, kitchen sink. And then mixtape is kind of like, because it’s hip hop, I always think back to the basics…let me just get a producer and let me just spit [rap]. It’s less kind of ‘whose this for’ it’s more like ‘let me showcase what I’m able to do’.”

In the interview the rapper spoke about the challenges of changing his name from Tumi (when he was the frontman of ensemble, Tumi and The Volume) to Stogie T.

“You guys were like T has lost his mind. I was called all types of fake Rick Ross, all types of things.”

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