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Ivory Coast’s Véronique Tadjo Receives one of France’s Highest Honours

Veronique Tadjo is a writer, poet, artist and academic from Côte d’Ivoire whose impactful work earned her the Medal of Commander of Arts and Letters from the government of France, one of the country’s most prestigious national honours conferred on those who had “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.”

The medal was presented to her by Jean-Christophe Belliard, the French Ambassador to Ivory Coast. 

This award is typically conferred on individuals who have “significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance” and past awardees include T.S Elliot, Meryl Streep and Stevie Wonder. 

As a painter, Veronique Tadjo often illustrates her children’s books and has exhibited her artwork in solo and group exhibitions. Her books have been translated into several languages and in 2005, her book, Queen Pokou: Concerto for a Sacrifice, was awarded the Grand Prix de Littérature d’Afrique Noire. In 2016, she also won the Bernard Dadié national grand prize for literature.

Her 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.

The honour of “Commander” conferred on her is the highest-ranking award the French government gives and, Veronique Tadjo said she was “honoured” by the recognition. 

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