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Focus on Ahmadou Kourouma, a Francophone writer from Ivory Coast

Ahmadou Kourouma died in 2003 in Lyon (France), far away from his home country of Ivory Coast. He passed as he had lived: an exile, as an old cat banned from the pride by younger and stronger ones. Never again will we cross the path of his commanding silhouette, nor will we hear his resonant, candid laughter which invariably burst when he recalled juicy anecdotes that had inspired the historical and political tragedy-comedies in his work.


What remains of this giant of the Francophone literature? A style, a distinct and genuine voice, miles away from the academic imitations of some writers praised as “modern” and “innovative” by literary critics. Inspired by the rhythm and the syntax of the Malinke language, Kourouma's distinctive prose offers a non-compromising perspective on the African continent and its tortuous connections to Western countries. Interested readers will find most of his works in the libraries of the French cultural network.


Kourouma's “The Suns of Independence” marks a turning point in the Francophone literature. First novel testifying of the disillusion in post-independence era, the book was coldly received by his fellow countrymen but later became a classic inserted in teaching programs of numerous African high-schools. After this, Kourouma did not publish for 20 years. He eventually came back in 1990 with “Monnew”, a novel recounting a century of colonialism in Africa with an strong ability to synthesize, much humour and the author's distinctive creativity in the writing. “Waiting for the Vote of the Wild Animals” is Kourouma's third novel and was published in 1998. Back with the theme of post-colonial Africa, the author uses his witty eloquence to denounce the continent's dictatorships. Slightly more classical in his style, the book brilliantly mixes the oral tradition with the genre of the novel. A fourth novel was finally published in 2000. “Allah is not Obliged” was awarded the “Prix Renaudot” and the book's popular success only confirmed the importance this “Ivorian novelist”.

Luc Fabre - Franco Namibian Cultural Centre

Books - Dibuka

  • DibuKids program

    Programme DibuKlub and DibuKids - February to June

    February - June 2019 Dibuka Francophone Multimedia Library at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg This year will be full of exciting events and activities at Dibuka. With movies twice a month on Wednesdays for adults; and storytime, films or activities twice a month on Saturdays for kids, there… Read more
  • 2018-DibukaFestival-facebook-2

    Dibuka Library Festival

    Not your ordinary book festival! 1 – 29 September 2018 Spring is coming! And with it, the Dibuka Library Festival, a new kind of book festival to celebrate Dibuka's new revamping and its 15th birthday. Dibuka Library Festival will run from the 1st to the 29th of September at the newly revamped… Read more
  • 2018-Dibuka-architecture-image

    Discover the new Dibuka

    The Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg are proud to present the newly revamped francophone multimedia library, named after the Setswana word for "books": dibuka. Dibuka is today the biggest francophone multimedia… Read more

Opening Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday - Wednesday:  
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
8.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 19.30
9.30 - 12.30 | 14.00 - 18.00
9.30 - 13.30


Tel. (+27) 11 646 1115
Fax. (+27) 11 646 1128

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