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Buhari congratulates Tanzanian winner of 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature

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Buhari congratulates Tanzanian winner of 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature

By Ismaila Chafe

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday in Abuja congratulated the winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Tanzanian and former lecturer at Bayero University in Kano.

Gurnah is the fourth black person to win the literature award, after the first person, Professor Wole Soyinka who won it in 1986; Derek Walcott of Saint Lucia (1992) and Toni Morrison, the first black woman to win the award in 1993.

By winning the award, the Swedish Academy underlined the “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the plight of refugees into the chasm between cultures and continents”.

President Buhari’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement issued by Mr. Femi Adesina, his special adviser on media and publicity.

He said President Buhari believed that given the vile experiences of Africans and people of African descent in the past, all forms of racial vices and injustices had no place in the world. modern history.

He praised the bold African voices who use the arts, music, literature and sport to stress that “our world is better when we treat each other with dignity and respect”.

Gurnah writes in English; lives and works in UK.

He was born in Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous island off the East African coast, and studied at Christchurch College, Canterbury in 1968.

Zanzibar and the former Tangayika merged in April 1964 to form present-day Tanzania.

That year Zanzibar experienced a revolution in which citizens of Arab descent were persecuted.

Gurnah was forced to flee the country at the age of 18. He began writing in English as a 21-year-old refugee in England, although Kiswahili was his first language.

His first novel, “Mémoire du Départ”, was published in 1987.

He has written numerous works that pose questions around notions of belonging, colonialism, displacement, memory and migration.

Her novel “Paradise”, set in colonial East Africa during World War I, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994.

“Paradise” deploys multiethnicity and multiculturalism on the shores of the Indian Ocean from the perspective of the Swahili elite.

A distinguished scholar and critic, Gurnah recently served on the board of trustees of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and was associate editor of the literary magazine “Wasafiri” for many years.

He is currently Professor Emeritus of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, UK, having retired in 2017.

Source: NAN

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