Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o will know if he will eventually win the 2017 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday.
The Swedish Academy says it will announce the winner on October 5.
Ngugi has been listed among 2017 favourites together with his perennial rival, Japan’s Haruki Murakani.
Ngugi topped a Ladbrokes ranking with 4/1 score against Haruki’s 5/1.
He has been emerging as a favourite since 2010, although he is yet to win the coveted prize
Other contenders are Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, South Korean poet Ko Un, Israeli novelist Amos Oz, Italian author and translator Claudio Magris and Spanish novelist Javier Marías.
The last black writer to win the Nobel was American novelist, Tonni Morrison, while Prof Wole Soyinka from Nigeria was the last African to win in 1986.
Last year, the committee’s choice of American singer and song-writer Bob Dylan as the winner sparked outrage, as some literary termed his choice as “anti-literature.”
Dylan took several weeks to acknowledge his win. He also failed to attend the prize ceremony.
Ngugi has enjoyed an illustrious literary career in Kenya and abroad spanning over 50 years.
His first book, Weep Not, Child (Heinemann, 1964), was the first English-language novel published by an East African writer.
Upon the release of his third novel, A Grain of Wheat (Heinemann, 1967), Thiong’o renounced Christianity and began publishing in Gikuyu, his native language.
He has since written essays, novels, short stories, plays and children’s books, and held teaching positions at Yale and New York University.
He was born in Limuru in 1937, studied at Alliance High School before proceeding to Makerere and Leeds universities in Uganda and the United Kingdom, respectively.