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"… to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

(An excerpt of Nobel’s will, which dictates that his entire remaining estate should be used for the Prizes.)


If footballers have the World Cup and, actors have the Oscars, then writers have … The Nobel Prize (for Literature).   Here are a few things you should know about The Nobel Prize: 1.      It was named after the Swedish chemist, Alfred B. Nobel (1833–1896), an engineer who invented the dynamite. 2.      It is awarded annually (since 1901), without regard to nationality, in six areas – Peace, Literature, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, and Economic Sciences 3.      The winner of a Nobel Prize is called ‘Nobel Laureate’. 4.      The award consists of a medal (which has inscriptions, except the Economics medal), a personal diploma, and a cash prize (8 million Swedish kroner (SEK) - almost $1.2 million U.S. dollars.) NOBEL MEDAL FOR LITERATURE 5.      Medicine has produced the highest number of Laureates – 204; while Economic Sciences, the fewest – 74. 6.      The Nobel Prize for Peace was not awarded for the duration of World War 1 and for the most part of World War 2. 7.      Among the 847 individuals that have become Nobel Laureates, only 45 were women. 8.      If someone nominates himself/herself, he/she would automatically be disqualified. 9.      The youngest ever Nobel Laureate was Australian-born British physicist, William Lawrence Bragg – aged 25. 10.  The first African (and individual not from Europe or the Americas) to win a Nobel Prize was South African teacher and politician, Albert John Lutuli (1960).   The Nobel Prize for Literature is given to an author who has "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction." Work can refer to an individual book but more often references an author's body of work as a whole.


1.      The first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature was Nigerian author, poet, playwright and political activist, Wole Soyinka (1986). His acceptance speech, "This Past Must Address Its Present", was devoted to South African freedom-fighter Nelson Mandela.

Wole Soyinka (seated, center) posed for a portrait with all 1986's Nobel Laureates.

2.      The first and only female African to win was South African writer and political activist Nadine Gordimer (1991); a member of the African National Congress, who fought the system in her political life and her writings.

3.      No one has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature more than once.

4.      The Nobel Medal for Literature was designed by Swedish sculptor and engraver Erik Lindberg and represents a young man sitting under a laurel tree who, enchanted, listens to and writes down the song of the Muse.

5.      110 individuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1901-2013.

6.      The youngest Literature Laureate is Rudyard Kipling, best known for The Jungle Book, he was 42 years old when he was awarded the Literature Prize in 1907.

7.      Only 13 women have won the award since 1901.

8.      The oldest Literature Laureate is Doris Lessing, aged 88 when she was awarded the Prize in 2007.

9.      Many believe that Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but he was actually awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. Churchill was nominated 20 times for the Literature Prize and twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

10.  Only 4 Africans have won the Literature Prize.

And here are fun facts on ALFRED NOBEL:

alfred NOBEL

1.      He established the Nobel Prize because he was concerned about his legacy. After his brother Ludvig passed away, a French newspaper accidentally published Alfred's obituary instead, which stated "The merchant of death is dead." After all, he got rich thanks to an invention that could kill people. This prompted Nobel to think about a lasting, positive impact he could make on the world – and the Nobel Prize was born!

2.      The synthetic element 102, nobelium, is named after him.

3.      The Nobel Prizes are awarded every year on December 10, which is the anniversary of Nobel's death. The Peace Prize ceremony takes place in Oslo, Norway, and the rest of the prizes are presented at a ceremony in Stockholm.

4.      Nobel contributed to the inventions of synthetic rubber, artificial silk, and synthetic leather. He held more than 350 patents.

A lover of English literature and poetry, Nobel wrote several novels and poems. At his death, he left a library of more than

By: Olusola Agbaje

The post THE NOBEL PRIZE – HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT? appeared first on Aphroden.

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