Why Ngugi should have rejected Catalonia prize

Ngugi wa Thiong'o speaks at the University of Bayreuth on May 5, 2014.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Catalonians were taking advantage of a well-known African to internationalise their tribalism and parochialism; and unfortunately Ngugi took the bait.
  • In the 1970s, Somalia attacked Ethiopia in an attempt to gain control of its Ogaden Province and to make it part of Greater Somalia

If I were Ngugi wa Thiong’o, I would have politely but categorically and unequivocally turned down the Catalonia International Literary Prize. The $10,000 that went with it is a hefty sum of money, but it is dirty money.


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