Professor Rozena Maart, academic in the School of Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has won the 2021 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to literature and Philosophy, awarded by the internationally renowned Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA).
Batista was a poet of social protest and a leader of the Afro-Cuban movement in the late 1920s and 1930s and is remembered as the national poet of revolutionary Cuba.
The committee, headed by CPA President Dr Hanétha Vété-Congolo, said: “Professor Maart was selected for this award for the philosophical, political and literary richness of her writings and her contribution as an institution-builder in education and her work as a psychoanalyst and social worker.”
Maart said the award came as a big surprise, “None of us live in this world alone. We are all the products of the communities in which we were raised and nurtured. This award belongs to District Six, To Lavender Hill, to Steenberg High, and to the University of the Western Cape (UWC).”
Maart completed her undergraduate studies at UWC, her Masters’ degree at the University of York in the UK and later her doctoral degree in philosophy and psychoanalysis from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCS) at the University of Birmingham, UK.
This is Maart’s second lifetime achievement award. Her first was awarded in 2016, ‘The William R. Jones award,’ by Philosophy Born of Struggle. She has also won several awards internationally, including, the 1992 award, ‘The Journey Prize: Best Short Fiction in Canada,’ along with a monetary prize for her short-story, ‘No Rosa, No District Six.’