By Abdourahman Waberi*
In a couple days or so, the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced (probably on Thursday, 6 October or the next). We know for sure that all information concerning the nomination and selection of the Nobel laureates is kept a secret for 50 years. The bettings odds seem to favor the 81 years old Syrian poet Ali Ahmed Said Asbar who writes under the pen name Adonis. The best chances for Africa are the 3 following (in any particular order) forerunners : Somalia’s novelist Nuruddin Farah (Crossbones, his eleventh novel just out last month), Kenya’s novelist, essayist and activist Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, and Algerian novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar. From now on, I will cross my fingers for my three inspiring and admirable friends. (Africa’s previous winners of the Literature Nobel are: Naguib Mahfouz, Nadime Gordimer, Wole Soyinka and J M Coetzee.)
Photo Credit: Elisabetta Claudia in L’Uomo Vogue, November, 2008
* This marks the beginning of novelist and essayist Abdourahman Waberi’s association with Africa is a Country. Born in Djibouti, Waberi studied in France, was a literary critic for Le Monde Diplomatique and taught as a visiting professor at Claremont Mckenna College in California. He has also tried his hand at sailing. He has won a number of literary and academic awards and one of his novels has been translated into English. You can follow him on Twitter, check out his website and his blog posts for Slate.fr (in French).