The name of the winner of the Grand Literary Prize “LES AFRIQUES” 2021 is known on Friday 10 December. It was the Congolese writer Fiston Mwanza Mujila for his novel “La danse du vilain” who was crowned. He succeeds Ayobami Adebayo of Nigeria, winner of the 2020 edition, with a book entitled “Stay with me”.
The Prix littéraire Les Afriques 2021 was awarded to the Congolese Fiston Mwanza Mujila for his novel “La Danse du Vilain” at Métailié Publishing in 2020, this Friday, December 10. He was chosen among other writers including Bernadine Evaristo for “Fille, femme, autre” at Éditions Globe; Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe for “Les Lumières d’Oujda” at Calmann-Lévy; Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin for “Les Jangos” Zulma; and Sindinwe Magona for “Mother to Mother” at Mémoire d’encrier
This is the sixth edition of the “LES AFRIQUES” literary prize that has just been awarded. “The Dance of the Villain” is a novel that mainly evokes the themes of inter-African migration, the artisanal exploitation of the riches of their subsoil by Africans and its corollary: the constant deterioration of their living conditions. It also talks about the growing gap between the African population and its political class, which is the only one to get richer.
Fiston Mwanza Mujila also questions the so-called joviality of Africans in general and Congolese in particular, by summoning through his characters, the story of the personal and collective tragedies behind a laugh or the frenetic rhythm of a dance… in this case the story of the “villain”. The rhythm and the celebration to exorcise the vileness of life? “In Africa, and particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a general and sustained amnesia; however, a country cannot evolve without memory. Reconciliation is needed, recognition of wrongs, justice, compensation, as in South Africa. What can be the role of intellectuals in this context? In the Congo, intellectuals are despised, they have no audience. When I try to question my parents or those of their generation, there are too many unspoken silences. In my novels, I chose to place myself below, on the side of miners, diggers, street children” Fiston Mwanza Mujila.
Who is Fiston Mwanza Mujila?
Fiston MWANZA MUJILA was born in LUBUMBASHI in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1981. He defines himself as a child of the mine. Lubumbashi is for him «the center of the world» from which he defines «his subjectivity» (Salon du livre d’Afrolivresque). Poet and novelist, “La Danse du Vilain” is his second novel after Tram 83 also published by Métailié. He is the recipient of several literary awards. He lives in Graz, Germany.
The literary prize “LES AFRIQUES”?
The literary prize “LES AFRIQUES” was created in 2015 by the association of readers LA CENE Littéraire. This award is given once a year to an African writer or Afrodescendant author of a fiction. This fiction must highlight a human, societal, ideological, political, cultural, economic or even historical cause in relation to Africa or its diaspora. This price includes a sum of money of €5,300, a work of art worth €3,500, the purchase of 100 copies of the award-winning book or the acquisition of the rights to the award-winning book for the geographical area of French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa.
The jury of the literary prize “LES AFRIQUES”?
This year 2021, the jury chaired by Professor Ambroise KOM was also made up of: Boubacar Boris DIOP (novelist, professor of literature) Koulsy LAMKO (novelist, professor of literature) BourahimaOUATTARA (writer and professor of literature) Sada KANE (journalist, literary critic, literary promoter). Alphoncine BOUYA (short story writer, novelist, former UN official).
The literary CENE?
La CENE littéraire is a non-profit association founded on 1 July 2015 by Flore Agnès Nda Zoa Meiltz, a Cameroonian and Swiss lawyer based in Switzerland. This association develops numerous initiatives to promote African and Afrodescent literature.
President Flore Agnès Nda Zoa Meiltz said: “We will decide which book will be read by tens of thousands of young Africans across the continent in 2022, including through our literary cafés. It will be the most read author (e) or the most read out of school program on the continent. It is unique in Africa and even in the world. It will be the only international award in the world this year that will be decided and funded by Africans. This is important because no universality or fraternity is possible if their foundations are not built on independence between the different components and mutual respect between them. A respectable Africa is first and foremost an Africa that takes responsibility!”