1998 • Arts and Literature Award

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Author Dianne Case, born in Cape Town, is the mother of three children that she raised single-handedly when her husband was on extended trips at sea on West Coast diamond boats. 

Holding down a full-time bookkeeping position, caring for her family and keeping house, Dianne's day was full enough but money was scarce.  To raise additional funds, she would rise early in the morning to write stories which she entered in the local newspaper's short story competitions. 

Such was her success at writing that she was awarded first prize on several occasions.  This led Dianne to pursue her talent and her first novel "Love, David" which won the Young Africa Award, was published both in South Africa and Europe.

The novel is now in its thirteenth print run, part of the South African school's curriculum and currently being made into a film. 

With the change in South Africa's government, it was decided that school books should be written by writers from diverse backgrounds in order to depict the variety of lifestyles and cultures in the country.

This gave Dianne an opportunity to continue her writing and her book "Albatross Winter" was published in 1980, winning the Adventure Africa Award.  Since the publication of this book, she has written several other books that are widely used in South African schools as well as being retailed through booksellers at home, in the USA and Europe. 
Dianne's books have been widely acclaimed and she has received several awards for her published works, including the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for Literature and the M-Net Book Prize. 

Her writing success stems from her ability to see the world through the eyes of children. When not writing, she concerns herself with children's issues and twice a year takes 300 children from Khyalitsha to an afternoon of ballet and music. A big hearted person who uses her own home as a sanctuary to those in need, she also works closely with havens, shelters and other organizations concerned with the homeless.

Dianne was nominated for the Star newspaper's "Woman of the Year" award in recognition of her work among street children.

Using her own considerable writing skill to help others, she runs creative writing workshops for adults at a local college and also for women inmates at Pollsmoor Prison. 

Finding that many of her students could not get their own works published, Dianne established her own publishing company last year.  Kwagga Publishers' vision is to produce books that are relevant and entertaining, that break down cultural barriers and that promote universal human values.  These books are primarily aimed at children of all cultures, around the world.