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Mohamed Mbougar Sarr

In celebration of Africa Day on the 25th May, this week MCA are highlighting the achievements of inspiring young Africans who are having a global impact in their field:

English

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is a young Senegalese writer who is making huge strides in the literary world. No only was he awarded the French Voices Awards for his debut novel Terre Ceinte (Earth Girdle), he was also the youngest winner of the 2018 World Literature Prize.

In 2021 Mohamed became the first writer from sub-Saharan Africa to be awarded France’s oldest and most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, for his novel The Most Secret Memory of Men, the youngest winner to do so since 1976.

The decision came amid an increasingly bitter culture war in France, with the far-right calling for a ban on “non-French” names such as Muhammad.

The jury of seven men and three women “made its mind up on the first vote – there was not need for a second round”, said another jury member, Paule Constant. “This book is written in flamboyant style. It’s a hymn to literature.”