Ivorian author Véronique Tadjo has received the Medal of Commander of Arts and Letters from the government of France, one of the country’s most prestigious National honors, and conferred on individuals who have “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.”

Véronique received the award at a ceremony held at the French residence in Ivory Coast. The French Ambassador to Ivory Coast Jean-Christophe Belliard bestowed the medal on her.

Veronique said she was “honored” for the recognition. The status of “Commander” is the highest in the rank of awards given by the French government, and only 20 people can be named recipients in each given year. Recipients in this category include such figures as T.S Elliot, Salman Rushdie, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio and Stevie Wonder.

Born in Paris in 1955, Ms Tadjo considers herself fundamentally Pan-African, having worked and lived in many African countries including Nigera, Kenya, Benin, Mali, Chad, Mauritius, Burundi and Rwanda. She is author of many works of poetry and novels including The Blind Kingdom, Queen Pokou and Mammy Water and the Monster. Her extensive list of literary honors include the 1983 literary prize of L’Agence de Cooperation Culturelle et Technique, the 1993 UNICEF Prize, the 2005 Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire, and the 2016 Bernard Dadié national grand prize for literature.

Congratulations to Véronique Tadjo!