Fritz Bell’s short story collection Broutilles was announced the winner of the Prix Kon Nnanga 2019 in Cameroon on May 22, 2020.
Jean-Louis Njemba Medu was a Cameroonian writer considered a pioneer of the African novel. His first was the science fiction/fantasy novel Nnanga Kon in his native Bulu language in 1932. The story deals with the encounter between the Bulu tribe and a white missionary; the title literally means “white ghosts” or “phantom albinos” in Bulu.
In 2016, Cameroon’s Le Club des Muses adopted the novel title as the name of the literary prize Prix Kon Nnanga to honour a young Cameroonian author living in the country. Previous winners, which is part of the country’s Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires, have been Séraphin Deffo Deffo (2018), Djhamidi Bond (2017), and Raoul Djimeli (2016).
The finalists for the 2019 edition were announced on October 14, 2019. The winner for 2019 is Fritz Bell for the short story collection Broutilles described as a great opportunity to revisit with a smile the social flaws and misunderstandings of our time: ecology, politics, mysticism, health, childhood, education, love, wars, etc.
Reacting to the win, Fritz Bell released the following statement in French, below is the English version supplied by Google Translate.
I’m very happy to receive the 2019 Nnanga Kon Prize with Broutilles.
I must tell you that I did not know at the outset either the existence of this award, its organization, or the conditions for participation or selection of works.
The approach that I discover afterwards seems very rigorous and therefore even more rewarding. We write for readers; and when readers take the initiative to propose your work and that proposal results in a literary prize, in all humility, you have the right to feel recognized and valued.
So thank you to GPAL and the organizers of this award. We writers need these forums to bring out African literature.
The Nnanga kon Prize trophy will be presented at the Institut du Français du Cameroun in Yaoundé, during the grand ceremony of the Grands Prix des Associations Littéraires at a date to be determined.