Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah wins Nobel for literature
Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Russia’s Dmitry Muratov won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for fighting for freedom of expression at a time when democracy is increasingly under threat.
They were honoured “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” said the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen.
Ressa, a critic of Philippine President Duterte, is the co-founder of Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, and Muratov is an editor at the leading independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and consistently angered Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Congratulating the pair, Unesco tweeted: Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 #NobelPeacePrize, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression. There is no democracy without press freedom. There is no press freedom without journalists who speak truth to power.
On Thursday, Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee”.
Based in Britain and writing in English, Gurnah, 72, joins Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka as the only two non-white writers from sub-Saharan Africa ever to win the world’s most prestigious literary award.
His novels include ‘Paradise’, set in colonial East Africa during World War I and short-listed for the Booker Prize for Fiction, and ‘Desertion’.
“I dedicate this Nobel Prize to Africa and Africans and to all my readers. Thanks!” Gurnah tweeted after the announcement.