Cameroonian Wins Prestigious French Literary Award

A 45-year-old Cameroonian, Djaili Amadou Amal, has been proclaimed the winner of the Prestigious French literary award that is meant to honour outstanding literary authors across the globe.

Mrs Djaili was proclaimed winner of the 33rd Goncourt des Lyceens on Wednesday, December 2, after her book “Les Impatientes” was read and chosen by two thousand secondary school students aged between 15 and 18 in France.

The three hundred page novel addresses the plight of women in the Northern part of Cameroon. Inspired by her own childhood experience, the author raised issues such as polygamy, rape, and arranged marriage that evident among women in the Sahel.

According to RFI, Les Impatientes (The Impatient Ones) describes the lives of Ramla, Hindou and Safira, three young women from wealthy families in the Northern part of Cameroon and their struggles to live up to society’s expectations.
The laureate disclosed that she was very proud and moved after hearing of the pronouncement through a video conference. “This represents so much for me. That we can talk about violence against women …and that young people have this story. It means they are sensitive to its message and that represents hope for the future,” she said.
France’s Education minister twitted he is happy to hand over the award to Djaili Amadou Amal. The minister described the novel as touching as it captures violence against women and pays homage to the victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern Regions of Cameroon. He equally acknowledged that the novel touched the 2000 high school jury participants.

Africanews reports that the president of the high school jury, Clemence Nomine described the writing style as simple and easy to read. “The writing is simple and touching and sounds right, without superfluous lyricism. It is a subtle book that allows us to observe the issue of forced marriage through the prism of this moving testimony,” He said.

The laureate has so far published three novels. She is equally the president of Femmes du Dahel, a feminist organisation charged with the responsibility of advocating for women’s rights.
The French literary award was created in 1987. The institution selects twelve literary works as nominees. The works are handed to 2,000 thousand high school students for them to read, discuss and debate on them. At the end, the students are expected to select one of the works to be crown as winner of the competition.

By Neville Mesumbe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s