Ghana’s own history and cultural Ambassador Nana Ofosuaa Oforiatta Ayim has hit another milestone on the global stage.

This time around, she has been decorated and awarded the World’s Biggest History Prize founded by Romanian Philanthropist Dan David, with an annual purse of USD$3 million for Outstanding Early and Mid-career Scholars and Practitioners in the historical disciplines.

By this remarkable feat, the 2022 Dan David Prize Winner Nana Ofosuaa Oforiatta Ayim has become the first Ghanaian to win this award.

Other winners in the past include outstanding thinkers, such as environmental advocate Al Gore; leader of the Smithsonians Lonnie Bunch; filmmakers The Coen Brothers; novelist Jamaica Kincaid; founder of Wikipedia Jimmie Wales; theatre director Peter Brook; playwright Tom Stoppard; musician Yo-Yo Ma.

On Al Jazeera, she discusses the consequences of centuries of colonialism with Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2021.

Originally from Tanzania, his fiction reflects the ethnic diversity of East Africa, exploring issues such as migration and cultural uprooting.

Art historian, writer and filmmaker Nana Ofosuaa Oforiatta Ayim has developed a new language to talk about African art that does not replicate Western concepts, pioneering a pan-African Cultural Encyclopedia and a Mobile Museums project in Ghana.

While coming from different perspectives, Gurnah and Ayim both create work that questions simple narratives and structures built on imperial models.

They explore how to remember a past deliberately eclipsed and erased by colonialism.

About Nana Oforiatta Ayim

Nana Ofosuaa Oforiatta Ayim is an author, filmmaker, and art historian.

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She was born and raised in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her grandfather is a king of Ghanaian origin Akyem Abuakwa. She studied African Art History and Political Science, worked for the UN in New York, and is now active worldwide mainly as an art educator and curator. As founder of the ANO Institute of Arts and Knowledge, she has initiated projects such as; The Mobile Museum and the first encyclopedia of African culture.

This is designed as an open-source archival platform that aims to gather African artworks from the past, present, and future to advance a new kind of perception of African art and a different understanding of the continent.

It is thus the first pan-African (virtual) art museum.

Nana Oforiatta Ayim curates exhibitions and lectures on cultural narratives worldwide. In 2019, she was responsible for the first Ghanaian pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Her autobiographical novel »The God Child« was published in 2019. The coming-of-age story centers on Maya Mensah, whose parents are from Ghana. Although her mother is of noble birth, Maya is ridiculed at school. She finds comfort in her cousin Kojo, who tells her colourful and fabulous stories of the distant land of her ancestors.

Maya recognizes herself as part of this story and sets off for Ghana in search of her roots. RadioEins described the novel as »poetic, captivating, fascinating«, stating that We God’s Children‹ is true world literature and a hymn to storytelling as a unifying link between cultures.

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