Ngugi Wa Thiong’o will be awarded the Grand Prix des Mécènes 2018 in Yaounde, Cameroon on April 23, 2019.
The Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires (Grand Prix of Literary Associations) were launched in Cameroon in 2013. They were initially defined as bilingual English-and-French literary prizes awarded on the proposals of literary associations. Since 2015, the prize has been open to work written in other languages with a focus on African languages.
One of the most prestigious recognitions handed out at the award ceremony is the Grand Prix des Mécènes, conferred since 2014, which pays tribute to an author for their full body of work. Previous winners of this award have been Guillaume Oyônô Mbia (2014), Patrice Kayo (2015), Bernard Dadié (2016), and Seydou Badian Kouyaté (2017).
This year’s recipient is Kenyan author and scholar Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Ngugi, as he is popularly known, is Kenya’s leading man of letters with many novels such as Weep Not Child which was Kenya’s first novel to be published in English in 1964 as well as The River Between (1965), Grain Of Wheat (1967), Petals of Blood (1977), and Wizard of The Crow (2006). He has also produced a lot of work such as his groundbreaking Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature (1986).
The prize will be awarded at the French Institute of Cameroon in Yaounde on April 23. At this event we shall also know who the winners of the Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires 2018 from the shortlist announced in March will be. The posthumous honour called the Grand prix de la mémoire will also be announced.