Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been honoured with the Kassel Citizens’ ” Prism of Reason” Award for “her vision of humanistic diversity”.
A statement issued by the organisers of the event said 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 Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees of the Society of Friends and Sponsors of the Kassel Citizens’ Prize have selected Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as the 2019 winner of the “Prism of Reason”. This makes her the first Nigerian to receive this remarkable prize.
“The award ceremony which takes place at the State Theater of Kassel in Germany is also in recognition of Adichie’s undeniable literary prowess, also for her equality and justice advocacy,” the statement read.
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 2019 award is the 29th in the series.
The first prize-winner (in 1991) was the then German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher; he was honoured for his services to the opening of the Iron Curtain.
Other awardees include Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei; Indian scientist and documenta 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.
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Board president Bernd Leifeld said “Combative but not fanatical, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…points out ways to overcome outdated patterns which are deeply anchored in education and society.
“Kassel citizens honour her with their Prize ‘The Prism of Reason 2019’ because she believes in the social, political and economic equality of all people,” he said.