24 September 2016

Kenya: Ngugi Becomes First African to Win South Korean Book Award

Photo: Ngugi Wa Thiong'o/Facebook
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o has won the 6th edition of a South Korean literature prize, the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award.

This makes him the first African to win the Asian country's first international book price whose cash value is $89,300 (about Sh8.9 million).

Announcing the results on Wednesday, the Toji Cultural Centre and Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award Review Committee praised Prof Ngugi for his incisive writing on Kenya's independence struggle as well as social and cultural issues.

"The writer deeply and fiercely examined and agonised over situations where various boundaries including the West and the non-West, and modernity and pre-modernity overlap," the committee said in a statement in Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.

The prize was established in 2011 in honour of Pak Kyong-ni (1926-2008), one of South Korea's most renowned writers.

In a statement acknowledging his nomination, Prof Ngugi, drew a strong link between Pak Kyong-ni and Kenyan literature.

The prize will be awarded on October 22 at the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Festival.

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