ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has praised the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature Abdulrazak Gurnah as the national pride, while welcoming the Tanzanian-born novelist and academic to Zanzibar.
“Congratulations for the prize; it's a pride for all of us—Zanzibaris, Tanzanians and Africans,” President Mwinyi told the UK-based Zanzibari in a video conversation on Wednesday.
He welcomed the winner of the prestigious award to visit his country of birth.
“I happily welcome you to visit Zanzibar; the place of your birth; your motherland. You are warmly welcomed,” Dr Mwinyi told the novelist.
Humbled by the president’s invitation, Mr Gurnah said he was planning to visit his relatives soon, and expressed fondness on the President’s gesture.
Gurnah was last Thursday awarded the prestigious prize, thanks to what the judges termed, "his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."
Obviously, no black African writer has won the prize since Professor Wole Soyinka won it in 1986.
By this feat, Gurnah became the first black writer to grab it since Toni Morrison in 1993.
Gurnah, who grew up in Zanzibar before relocating to England as a student in the 1960s, has published ten novels as well as a number of short stories.
Meanwhile, President Hussein Mwinyi has said that Zanzibar was ready to strengthen historical ties and cooperation that exists with the Union of the Comoros Islands, especially in the development sectors including the business sector.
Dr Mwinyi made the statement on Tuesday at the State House, where he held talks with Dr Ahamada El Badoi Mohamed Fakih- the Ambassador of the Union of the Comoros Islands in Tanzania.
During the meeting, President Mwinyi explained to the Ambassador that the brotherly relations between Zanzibar and Comoros open up more opportunities for trade.
“Zanzibar is committed to maintaining the historic relations with Comoros especially in trade,” Dr Mwinyi said.
On his side Ambassador Fakih informed President Mwinyi that there is a need to re-open doors for traders from Comoros to do business in Zanzibar and those in Zanzibar to go to Comoros like it was in the past.