The Most Famous African Writer: A Ranking of Prominent Literary Figures

Choose the writer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 08:03
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Get ready to dive into the world of literature as we embark on a quest to discover the most famous African writer. With a plethora of exceptional talents hailing from the vibrant continent, this is your chance to make your voice heard and support your favorite literary genius. Our continuously updated rankings showcase the best of African literature, reflecting the diverse tapestry of cultures and experiences that inspire these remarkable authors. So, don't miss out on this literary adventure – vote for your favorite African writer, or suggest someone we might have missed. Together, let's celebrate the captivating voices that have enriched the world with their compelling stories and powerful prose. Join us now and explore the literary stars of Africa!

Who Is the Most Famous African Writer?

  1. 1
    Chinua Achebe
    Stuart C. Shapiro · CC BY 3.0
    Achebe is widely regarded as the father of modern African literature and his novel, Things Fall Apart, is a classic of African literature. He was also a critic and advocate for African writers and culture.
    Chinua Achebe in other rankings
  2. 2
    Wole Soyinka
    Frankie Fouganthin · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and novelist who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. He is known for his criticism of Nigerian politics and his commitment to human rights.
    Wole Soyinka in other rankings
  3. 3
    Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
    Niccolò Caranti · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Thiong'o is a Kenyan writer who has written novels, plays, and essays in both English and his native language, Gikuyu. He is a prominent advocate for the use of African languages in literature and education.
  4. 4
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Nwabu2010 · Public domain
    Adichie is a Nigerian novelist and short story writer whose work has received widespread critical acclaim. She is known for her feminist and social justice advocacy and her TED Talk, "The Danger of a Single Story."
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in other rankings
  5. 5
    Tutuola was a Nigerian writer whose novels were heavily influenced by Yoruba folklore and mythology. His most famous work is The Palm-Wine Drinkard, which was published in 1952.
  6. 6
    Buchi Emecheta
    Victuallers · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Emecheta was a Nigerian novelist whose work focused on the experiences of African women, both in Africa and in diaspora. Her most famous works include The Joys of Motherhood and Second Class Citizen.
  7. 7
    Ben Okri
    Metsavend · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Okri is a Nigerian poet and novelist who won the Booker Prize in 1991 for his novel The Famished Road. He is known for his magical realism and his exploration of African spirituality.
  8. 8
    Mariama Bâ
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Bâ was a Senegalese novelist whose work explored the lives of African women and the impact of colonialism and patriarchy on their experiences. Her most famous work is So Long a Letter, which was published in 1981.
    Mariama Bâ in other rankings
  9. 9
    Aidoo is a Ghanaian playwright, poet, and novelist who has written extensively about African women's experiences and the impact of colonialism and neocolonialism on African societies. Her most famous works include Changes: A Love Story and Our Sister Killjoy.
    Ama Ata Aidoo in other rankings
  10. 10
    Tayeb Salih
    Engfrompalestine · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Salih was a Sudanese novelist whose work explored the intersection of Western and Arab cultures in Sudan. His most famous work is Season of Migration to the North, which was published in 1966.

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Ranking factors for famous writer

  1. Literary Recognition
    This includes awards won, critical acclaim and widespread acclaim.
  2. International Reputation
    This includes the reach of their work, translations, and influence in the global literary world.
  3. Sales and Commercial Success
    This covers the success of their books in terms of copies sold, movie adaptations, and other commercial ventures.
  4. Cultural and Historical Impact
    This includes the contribution of the writer to their national or regional culture, impact on social and political narratives, and the broadening of literary canon.
  5. Body of Work and Legacy
    This covers the writer’s career as a whole, the number of books and genres they’ve published in, and their continued relevance in popular reading and scholarship.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous African writer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Author is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 208 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Author once every 24 hours. The rank of each Author is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous african writer

Background Information: Who is the Most Famous African Writer? African literature is rich, diverse and has a history that dates back centuries. However, in the modern world, few authors have gained global recognition as the most famous African writer. The title is a highly contested one, with several writers from different countries and backgrounds vying for the top spot. Among the names that have been considered for this title are Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Nadine Gordimer. These writers have contributed significantly to African literature and have been recognized with numerous awards. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is considered a classic African novel and has been translated into over 50 languages. Wole Soyinka, who was the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, is known for his plays and poetry that address the socio-political issues of Nigeria. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a contemporary writer whose works, including Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun, have received critical acclaim. Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a Kenyan writer, is known for his novels, plays, and essays that address colonialism, language, and identity. Nadine Gordimer, a South African writer, was a prominent anti-apartheid activist and her works, including Burger's Daughter and July's People, examine the complexities of race relations in South Africa. While it is difficult to determine the most famous African writer definitively

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