Why Tanzanian Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah is hardly known back home. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59178826)
I have not written a post in a while, but I couldn’t let this one pass without comment. Of course, they are referring to the recent Nobel Prize Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah. I have no quarrel with that.
I can think of many reasons for Tanzanians not to know of him. Let’s start with, “Perhaps, it’s because he’s not relevant to them anymore.” Gurnah has lived in UK for 5 decades. Is he even Tanzanian? Like many authors from India in the eighties and nineties who reflected VS Naipaul’s infamous words: “I do not write for Indians, who in any case do not read. My work is only possible in a liberal, civilized Western country. It is not possible in primitive societies."
Such sublime arrogance is, of course, worthy of BBC and Western media, in general, and all who still subscribe to the supremacy of Western civilisation and culture even as we see it crumbling before our very eyes.
Here is another gem from the BBC report:
“It has also sparked debate about the country's declining reading culture.” Really? Or have Tanzanian people simply moved on, and now read other material in other languages?
I hear the same thing said in Malaysia often: “People don’t read anymore.” Again, such sublime arrogance. From what I see in bookshops, lots of people read in BM and Chinese, or are those merely “primitive languages”?
Read the BBC story if you like a good laugh (or if your lifetime subscription to Western civilisation and culture is still active). See how unbelievably out of touch the West has become.
Sorry, your one size fit all culture, does not fit anyone any more. In fact, it hasn’t for a long time, even in your own country.