South African author Jackie Phamotse has endured a difficult few weeks but she was graced with good news when she was announced as 2018’s Literary Icon of the Year

The accolade was given to her at this year’s African Icon Awards which took place in Lagos, Nigeria this year. Jackie was named as one of seven winners of the prestigious annual awards, largely for the work that went into her 2017 release, Bare: The Blesser’s Game.

The positive news was welcomed by the author, who is facing a possible lawsuit after the famous Kumalo family announced its intention to press charges against her for crimen injuria.

While the case is likely to be on her mind, Jackie made no mention of it when she thanked the African Icon board for recognising her literary contributions.

Jackie expressed her delight when she said to Tshisa Live: “I am deeply honoured and it came at a perfect time. My work is my pride and this will give any girl in Africa hope that anything is possible. Even in bad times we can still stand and keep following our course. I am extremely proud to be recognised in Nigeria as an icon! It’s been a tough journey but worth it. I stand for many women, old and young and this is my way to carry on with Mama Winnie Mandela’s legacy,”

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Jackie Phamotse’s book has been widely hailed as an eye-opening account of what goes on behind the scenes of ‘transactional’ relationships in South Africa

The author exposed everything from the common “blesser” practice, to popular meeting spots in South Africa – including the infamous #HockeyClubs:

While Jackie’s antics on Twitter helped promote her book, she took it a step too far when she suggested that she might have dirt on a popular media couple (who many speculated to be Basetsana and Romeo Kumalo)

At the beginning of June, Jackie wrote on Twitter:

“Just over heard a painful conversation, a Female TV mogul….Pleading with one of my girls to not share videos of her drunk and her husband [sic] rimming a celebrity boy!!!!!!!!! What the hell!!!! Kanti what kind of marriages do we have now!!! I have asked to see this video (sic)”

At the time, she claimed to be tweeting in defence of the “celebrity boy”:

The Kumalo family hit back hard less than two weeks after the insinuations were made online before suggesting that Jackie may have been trying to promote her book by spreading of “salacious” rumours

Part of that statement read: “Our silence thus far has not been because there is any merit or truth in these allegations – but simply because we have been so deeply shocked and hurt by the salacious content and manner in which it has been recklessly shared and spread.

“But today is when we break the silence. We feel it is our duty to take a stand – both against the specific individuals involved in spreading these baseless allegations about us and, more broadly, against all those keyboard warriors who so swiftly jump on the bandwagon to share harmful content about others – without considering the long-term harm that this can cause.

“It is my hope that, in taking a public stand against this type of malicious and reckless behaviour, we will send a strong message to all those who regularly and carelessly share false and harmful information about others without fact-checking or considering the tremendous harm to be caused on a personal, professional and reputational level,”

Jackie’s marketing tactics may not be to everybody’s taste, but the publicity she’s generated went a long way towards helping her win the African Icon Award.

On the other hand, if she is sued for crimen injuria; will this all have been worth it?