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Entries for the 2022 Pendoring Awards have been opened and preparations have been made to celebrate and honour the use of South Africa’s indigenous languages across the creative spectrum.

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The Pendoring Awards shine a light on the rich diversity and creativity within the country’s 10 indigenous languages, embracing the power, history and richness of each of those languages to tell the unique story of South Africa in the marketing and communications community.

Letting your language loose

This year’s Pendoring campaign, created by the 2021 Prestigious Umpetha Award winners, TBWAHuntLascaris, focuses on the importance of letting your language loose. The campaign makes a bold call for South Africa’s mother tongues to be unboxed, unrestricted and freed from the confinement of having to go through our day-to-day lives speaking in a second, third or even fourth language.

Pendoring offers substantial cash prizes, not only for the overall winner, but also for the gold and silver winners. All the gold winners in the various categories, with the exception of the student category, are considered for the overall Umpetha Award, which comes with a R100,000 overseas study tour.

“Most South Africans start their day by packing away their first language in a metaphorical suitcase,” says Carl Willoughby, executive creative director at TBWAHuntLascaris.

“This language has no choice, this language did not ask to be shut up and hidden away from the world. When we stow away our Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Setswana, Sepedi, Sesotho, siSwati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga for the day, something is happening in that suitcase while we are chatting away in our second language.

“Like an angry mother waiting in dim light after midnight, it’s heaving and breathing, it’s stretching and scheming, it’s puffing and panting ready to get out and give you a good talking to.”

New categories

While the Pendoring Awards are traditionally associated with the advertising sector, new categories have been added in recent years, including for the publishing sector. Some multilingual books have entered and won the Pendorings in the past few years. The only set criteria is that at least 70% of the work is in one of South Africa’s 10 indigenous languages.

The deadline for entries is 23 September 2022.

Go to the Pendoring website for details on how to enter and more news on the awards.