The excellence of Nigeria’s award-winning author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has once again been recognized globally as she has been named among those to be awarded with the Nobel Prize in October 2021.
However, a Swedish journalist and literary critic, Jonas Thente has said that he has fears that she is ‘probably too young’ to be awarded a Nobel laureate, whilst adding that he hopes she clinches it.
The age perception as somehow associated with Ms. Adichie’s eligibility is a nonstarter as history has it that the youngest person to have won a Nobel Laureate prize was Rudyard Kipling and she was even younger than Ms. Adichie. Whilst Rudyard won her prize at the age of 41 in the year 1907, Ngozi entered the race at the age of 44.
Thente’s opinion on Ms. Adichie is based on the stance of other critics who have called out the non-Western writers who are due and available for the Nobel Prize.
Apart from Ngozi, the likes of Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Kenya, Somalia’s Nuruddin Farah and Mozambique’s Mia Couto were equally popular names deemed by many to have qualified for such a prize.
A lot of Western countries have clinched the prize several times of which France has the most recipients, topping the list with 15 Nobel prize winners.
Surprisingly, China and India, which are the most populous countries in the world, have only won the prize just once with the exception of the Chinese-born French citizen, Gao Xingjian.
Recently, the Swedish Academy has made an adjustment in their requirement that will accommodate more global and gender equal literature prizes.
The Nobel laureate has been plagued by scandals over the years; giving birth to the need for adjustment after the event was postponed in 2018 following the viral wave of #MeToo scandal.
However, Thente earlier suggested that the Swedish Academy might not be able to stay away from scandal due to the nature of the prize. Justifying this position, he said “the prize is more unpredictable than ever.”