Meshack Asare

Meshack Asare

Ghanaian Meshack Asare is the winner of this years 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. The award was announced by World Literature Today, the award-winning magazine of international literature and culture on Friday.
The Neustadt International Prize for Literature awarded every two years recognizes great accomplishments in the world of children’s storytelling. A check for $25,000, a silver medallion, and a certificate will be presented to the laureate at a public ceremony at The University of Oklahoma.
Asare continues to prove that there are still areas sorely lacking in “first black” as he is the first African winner of the prize. Born in Ghana and currently living in Germany, He is considered one of Africa’s most influential children’s authors. The text that won him the big payday was the multiple award-winning picture book Kwajo and the Brassman’s Secret, an Ashanti tale about wisdom versus the temptation of riches, distributed by African Books Collective.
What did Meshack Asare have to say about the big win? “It is such a privilege, honor, and delight to receive the distinguished NSK Neustadt Prize for my modest contribution as an African, towards Children’s Literature.” Good for him. If I was the prize winner I would have probably said something illuminating like “drinks is on me mitches!!!” Which is why you won’t be seeing me win any prizes any time soon.
The NSK juror who nominated Asare, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who we are quite familiar with in this blog will be attending the Neustadt Festival at the University of Oklahoma next fall.
Previous winners of the award include Mildred D. Taylor (2003), Brian Doyle (2005), Katherine Paterson (2007), Vera B. Williams (2009), Virginia Euwer Wolff (2011) and Naomi Shihab Nye (2013).