Hemley Boum was announced the winner of the Prix Kourouma 2020 in Geneva on October 30, 2020.
Ahmadou Kourouma was the Ivorian novelist who wrote Allah N’est Pas (Allah is Not Obliged) in 2002, En Attendant Le Vote Des Bêtes Sauvages (Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote) in 1998, and Les Soleils Des Indépendances (The Suns of Independence) in 1968. After he passed on in 2003, a new prize was set up in his honour called the Prix Ahmadou Kourouma (Ahmadou Kourouma Prize) by Salon Africaine in 2004. Awarded annually at the Geneva International Book Fair, it recognises a fictional work or essay devoted to Black Africa. It has been won in the past by among others, Scholastique Mukasonga (2012), Tierno Monénembo (2013), Mutt-Lon (2014), Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (2015), Mbarek Ould Beyrouk (2016), Max Lobe (2017), Wilfried N’Sondé (2018), and David Diop (2019).
The panel judges for the 2020 edition of the prize are led by Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne and President of the ADELF, the association of French-language Writers Jacques Chevrier who takes the role of President. He is joined by UNIL Professor Christine Le Quellec Cottier, literary critic Isabelle Rüf, and author and University of Basel professor Isabelle Chariatte. This panel announced the shortlist on June 24.
Hemley Boum who was announced the winner at a ceremony at the Geneva Book Fair 2020 goes home with the CHF 5,000 cash prize. Watch the prize-giving ceremony below;