Two renowned Nigerian writers have been nominated for an alternative Nobel Prize for Literature... finally!
The prestigious Nobel Prize, overseen by the Swedish Academy, has acquired a notorious reputation ever since it awarded American Singer and Songwriter, Bob Dylan, the honorary award in 2016. It tried to redeem itself the next year, by awarding it to Kazuo Ishiguro, a Japanese-born British writer, amongst a list of nominees including Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Magaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami.
Book lovers were actually looking forward to who they would give it to this year.
However, the Swedish Academy had its own #MeToo moment when a sexual and financial scandal within the Academy was uncovered in May, which led to a cancellation or postponement of the award for the year.
Not to fret though, a group of 100 Swedish individuals ranging from writers, actors, and a rapper came together to award an Alternative Noble Prize award.
New Academy is a non-profit organization that has opened the doors for Swedish Librarians to nominate authors from across the world who have “told the story of “humans in the world”. The 46 nominees consist of our very own Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Nigerian/American Sci-Fi writer Nnedi Okorafor.
Chimamanda Adichie and Nnedi Okorafor are the only 2 Nigerian writers nominated for an alternative Nobel Prize for Literature.
No Nigerian has won the Nobel Prize for Literature since Wole Soyinka did in 1986. Soyinka, "who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence", is one of the few Africans to ever even be nominated for the prize, since the likes of Chinua Achebe were snubbed by the award.
Hopefully, this New Academy tears down the Swedish Academy's reputation for being too Euro-Centric and awards it to one of ours.
The winner will be announced October 14th and presented at a formal event with a grand celebration December 10th 2018. Subsequently the New Academy will be dissolved December 11 after the grand celebration.
To vote for any of the nominees, click this link: