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Kenya’s celebrated author, Ngugi wa Thiong’o bags the 2019 Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize

Kenyan author Ngugi Wa Thiong'o.
  • Kenya’s celebrated author, Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o has added another feature on his now colourful hat.
  • Ngugi, who is currently a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, won the literary prize for his acclaimed collection of essays, ‘Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature.”
  • Ngugi will be presented with the 15th Remarque Peace Prize which is only given biennially on November 29, 2019 at a ceremony in Osnabruck, Germany.

Kenya’s celebrated author, Professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o has added another feature on his now colourful hat. Professor Ngugi has bagged the 2019 Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize.

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Ngugi, who is currently a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, won the literary prize for his acclaimed collection of essays, ‘Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature.”

Announcing his award, the jury stated, “With Ngugi wa Thiong’o we are honoring a writer who is concerned with the self-determination of African cultures and with a dissociation from colonial constraints. His attempt to create a dialogue through literature in spite of or indeed because of the different languages evokes understanding for this continent and can thus contribute towards peace.”

Published in 1986 by Heinemann as part of their African Writers Series, ‘Decolonizing the Mind’ is among Ngugi’s best-known and most widely-cited publications. His collection of essays makes a powerful argument for linguistic decolonization.

Ironically, the collection came out two years after Ngugi gave up creating his fictional works in English and began writing in his mother tongue, Gikuyu.

Ngugi will be presented with the 15th Remarque Peace Prize which is only given biennially on November 29, 2019 at a ceremony in Osnabruck, Germany. He will also be endowed with 25,000 euros (Sh2.8 million).

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