Ivorian Yaya Diomandé, first winner of the “Voix d'Afriques” prize

The young writer Yaya Diomandé with his novel “Abobo Marley” at RFI.

RFI / Pierre-René Worms

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

The young Ivorian Yaya Diomandé is the first winner of the new literary prize “Voix d'Afriques” co-organized by RFI and editions JC Lattès.

The jury chaired by the writer Abourrahman Wabéri rewarded him for his novel Abobo Marley against 372 other selected manuscripts.


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He is almost 30 years old and he lives in Abidjan as a translator and blogger.

A great reader and writer for a long time, Yaya Diomandé tried his luck by sending his manuscript like thousands of others to the African continent.

Luck smiled on him, his talent was spotted.

With emotion, he remembers when he heard the news: “

 I was at home during confinement.

And I received the email on April 4, 2020 telling me that I was the winner of the competition.

And there… pfff… You can not imagine.

It was a great joy with me.

My mother who was in the village, when she heard about this, she was so happy.

You can't imagine… It was great, actually! 


In France for the first time, Yaya Diomandé will stay for two months in residence at the Cité internationale des arts.

His novel is released in bookstores this Wednesday under the title

Abobo Marley

published by JC Lattès, partner of the prize with RFI.

The story of this novel revolves around a little shoe-shiner in a poor district of Abidjan who dreams of going to Bengué, that is to say elsewhere, in Europe to see if the times are better.

For Yaya Diomandé, the dream came true with this

“Voix d'Afriques” award


On Friday October 2, a big event evening with the winner is organized at the Maison de la Poésie in Paris in the presence of an actor and a musician.


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