Wole Soyinka, Nelson Mandela and three others are among several Africans who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize since it was first awarded in 1901. The Nobel is bestowed upon people who have contributed immensely to making the world a better place.
The five Africans who got the award in their respective years were experts in their various fields, areas such as governance, arts and rights advocacy.
1. Wole Soyinka
He was the first African to receive the prize in 1986 for his creativity in literature. Soyinka, who was born in 1934, has been a big force in Nigeria’s literary space.
The Nigerian creative had his education both in the country and in the United Kingdom. He is also well-versed in all the genres of literature. Some of his notable books are The Trials of Brother Jero and A Voyage Around Essay.
2. Wangari Maathai
Born on 1 April, 1940, Maathai is a Kenyan who is very passionate about the environment. She is also into the advocacy for women's rights and the protection of the environment through an organisation called the Green Belt Movement. She was awarded the honour in 2004.
3. Nelson Mandela
As the first black South African president in 1994, he was at the forefront of the fight against the suppression of women, among other things. He received the prize together with Frederik Willem de Klerk in 1993 for their strong fight against apartheid in South Africa.
Mandela died in 2013 and was given a state-befitting funeral days after, which was attended by multiple notableheads of government from around the world.
4. Kofi Atta Annan
He was the 17th secretary-general of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006. Born in Ghana in 1938, he studied economics. He jointly received the award in 2001 for his passion for human rights.
5. Albert Luthuli
He was the first South African to get the prize (ahead of Nelson Mandela) in 1960 for how he campaigned against apartheid in his country in a non-violent manner. After his election in 1952, he had been the president of the African National Congress (ANC).
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