2021 RAFA Award Winner Announced

Winner: Time, Paper, Bone by Catherine Boulle and Bongani Kona

The top prize for our 2021 Radio & Audio Funding Award (RAFA) goes to Catherine Boulle and Bongani Kona for their project, Time, Paper, Bone. Congratulations!

Time, Paper, Bone is the story of one woman’s decades-long search for her father, and a gripping account of the work of South Africa’s Missing Persons Task Team – established a decade after the end of apartheid to trace the remains of political activists disappeared between 1960 and 1994. Told through the case of James Booi, who was transferred from Robben Island Prison in 1966 and never heard from again, we follow the MPTT in a poignant and enthralling investigation into the long shadow of political violence, and the refusal to forget.

Judge Pez Andrews said: “Time, Paper, Bone explores a universal experience of the desire for closure, against another prism through which to view the apartheid era. There is also a deep love and sense of connection with the characters, which we felt very strongly through Catherine and Bongani.”

Ibby Caputo, who will be mentoring the winners, said that she was “super syked to work with the team and can’t wait to get started”.

When we broke the news to Catherine and Bongani, they responded:We still can’t quite believe the news! But are overjoyed. This project matters deeply to us and to everyone involved, and we are really honoured to have the generous support of the Whickers to make it happen.


Honourable Mention: The Last Word by Talia Augustidis

This year, the decision to choose just one winner was tougher than ever. Our judges were especially impressed by Talia Augustidis‘ personal and deeply moving project, The Last Word.

The BBC sensationalised my Mother’s death, falsely claiming that her last words were hours long “cries for help”. This was later amended to a more factual but lifeless statement: “She died instantly and was found very soon afterwards.” I will never know what her actual last words were, but this piece explores different interpretations from those who loved her. And in doing so, I hope to bring her to life.’

All of our judges agreed with Pam Fraser Solomon, who said “it will be a sophisticated and beautifully crafted piece that will be made with the one ingredient that is usually missing, which is love.”


We wish Talia and the rest of our talented finalists the best of luck with their onward journeys. The have set the bar for next year very high indeed.

Unlike in previous years, our RAFA finalists did not pitch their projects in public in order to decide on a winner. Instead, each won £1,000 and were invited to join our RAFA Development Workshop. The additional prize bundle for the winning project consists of £5000, including mentorship from top industry professional and RAFA Judge, Ibby Caputo.