We set up the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa to celebrate excellence in all its cerebral grace, its liberating quality, the honour and recognition it brings to a myriad of people, of diverse cultures and languages. Wole Soyinka is the very first African to win the Nobel prize in literature which brought honour to Africa, to Nigeria, to so many people. If a sound mind brought us so much honour, why do we neglect the mind? At the Lumina Foundation, we decided to honour Africa’s first Nobel laureate in Literature. By extension, we honour people who have used their talents well enough to affect others positively. We honour our great writers and cause their works to be appreciated. We encourage good writing, promote scholarship and make books available and affordable by subsidizing the publication of books in the top list of our judges.
This is a pan African prize. We consider it to be our own NOBEL prize in Africa. It unifies Africans, celebrates Africa’s great minds, brings home Africa’s best intellectuals as judges, entertainers and great communicators and leaders in their own rights. It’s a book prize I am happy and proud to be part of because of the tribute it pays to profound knowledge generation and dissemination and to Africa’s diverse cultures and personalities.
The Soyinka prize for literature in Africa is awarded every other year to the best book written by an African in any of the literary genres. The prize money is $20,000USD.