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It’s official! Chase Rhys, 28, a writer and performance artist from Ocean View, outside Cape Town, is the winner of the inaugural Adam and Rosalie Small Award for Debutant/Debutante Writers for his submission of the play, KINNES. He wrote his first play, KINNES, to honour the lives of the children who are victims of violence on the Cape Flats and to interrogate why the most vulnerable people in our communities are not adequately protected.

Rhys couldn’t contain his excitement on learning that he had won the competition.

“Winning the Adam and Rosalie Small Award is unbelievable. To be carrying on the legacy of a legend like Adam Small is a tremendous honour,” he shared.

“I’m excited because we’re creating meaningful spaces to hold our stories. I wrote Kinnes to honour the lives of all the children we have lost to gang violence in our communities.”

The Adam and Rosalie Small Award for Debutant/Debutante Writers was launched in November last year in partnership with Distell and to honour the late poet and writer, Adam Small and his wife Rosalie, for their contribution to South African literature, philosophy, education, and advocacy against social injustice.Aspirant writers were required to focus their scripts on South African themes that support diversity in language and promote social cohesion.

Rhys will receive a cash prize of R10 000. Distell has partnered with Wordsmith Theatre Factory to manage the stage production of the winning story in early 2018.

“Distell’s investment with this project will play a huge role in showcasing stories from communities, turning words into powerful voices for generations to come,”says Simoné Benjamin, CSI Controller at Distell.

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