World renowned literary giant, Nigerian born, Chimamanda Adichie has been honoured with the Kassel Citizens’ prism of reason award for her vision of humanistic diversity. She is the first Nigerian to receive the award.
According to the organizers, the prize is awarded to persons or institutions whose work serves the ideals of the enlightenment by overcoming ideological barriers and promoting reason and tolerance towards dissenters.
The award ceremony which took place on September 15, at the state theatre of Kassel in Germany – a day that happened to be Adichie’s birthday was given to her not only for her undeniable literary prowess, but also for her equality and justice advocacy.
The ‘prism of reason’ award was founded in 1990 by citizens of the city of Kassel and the region. So far, the prize has been awarded 28 times.
The first prize-winner (1991) was the then German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who was honoured for his services to the opening of the Iron Curtain.
Other awardees include Chinese dissident and artist, Ai Weiwei; Indian scientist and document 13 participant, Vandana Shiva; Somali-born Dutch-American activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Israeli diplomat, peace activist and publicist, Avi Primor and Peruvian farmer, Saúl Luciano Lliuya.
This year, in the 29th year of the award, the board of directors and the board of trustees of the Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Kassel Citizens’ Prize selected writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as the 2019 winner of the ‘Prism of reason.” This makes her the first Nigerian to receive this remarkable prize.
A statement made by the Kassel Board President, Bernd Leifeld said “combative but not fanatical, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…points out ways to overcome outdated patterns which are deeply anchored in education and society.”
He added that “Kassel citizens honour her with their prize the ‘Prism of Reason 2019’ because she believes in the social, political and economic equality of all peoples.”
It was quite the birthday weekend for Adichie. First with the announcement on September 13 that HBO Max, a division of Warner Media Entertainment, is creating a straight-to-series order for the television adaptation of Adichie’s most recent novel ‘Americanah’.
The 10-episode series will star Academy award winner, Lupita Nyong’o with the pilot being written by screenwriter and actor, Danai Gurira (who starred in the movie Black Panther) and will be co-produced by Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B.