Three years after the eleventh edition of the TChicaya U Tam’si Prize for African Poetry, the jury met this year for the twelfth edition to deliberate again on the most important experiences and African poetic symbols deserving of this Prize. . Thus, after examining the candidacies of poets from various nationalities and speaking different languages, and following a long critical discussion, the jury decided, by a majority of votes, to award the twelfth TChicaya U Tam’si Prize to African poetry to the great Cameroonian poet Paul Dakeyo.
Chaired by the Senegalese poet Amadou Lamine Sall, winner of the Chicaya U tam’si prize during the eleventh session, the jury was composed of the following members: the Moroccan poet and novelist Mohamed Achaari, the Senegalese writer Abou Mbow, Moroccan academician Charafdine Majdouline, as well as Mr. Mohamed Benaïssa, Secretary General of the Assilah Forum Foundation.
Born and raised in Bafoussam, Cameroon, in 1948, Paul Dakeyo continued his university studies in sociology, before publishing his first collections of poetry in 1973. His poetic works span from the seventies of the last century to the second decade of this century, the most famous of which are: “Les barbelés du matin” (Paris, 1973), “Un cri au pluriel” (Paris, 1976), “Chant d’accusation” (Paris, 1976), “Les ombres of the night” (Paris, 1994), “Moroni, this exile” (Yaoundé, 2002), and “Les Voix de l’absence”, published in collaboration with Evelyn Vincent, (Paris, 2019).
Paul Dakeyo belongs to a generation of French-speaking African poets who have adopted noble positions on issues relating to liberation, justice and democracy in African countries, first and foremost the struggle for the abolition of the apartheid regime in Africa from South. Its high poetic value, through its human sense, and the defense of the dreams nourished by the oppressed throughout the world, have been a luminous sign in the African poetic experience, so this crowning undoubtedly brings a certain peace. and serenity to the soul of TChicaya U Tam’si in his eternal sleep, given the great esteem that this poet had for him throughout his life.