For years, there has been debate over which African stories are presented on the world stage, who is awarded, and who is in charge of the prizes.
Literary prizes do more than offer recognition and cash to writers and help readers decide what book to choose. They shape the literary canon, a country’s body of highly regarded writing. They help shape what the future classics might be.
But what if Africa’s biggest prizes are awarded by foreign territories, former colonial masters? Or what if African-born writers in the diaspora are routinely chosen as winners over writers living and working in Africa?