A grand reception in Ouagadougou for Diébédo Francis Kere, 2022 winner of the Pritzker Prize.
kere arrived his home nation of Burkina Faso on Tuesday and was welcomed with cheers and pride by dignitaries and government representatives.
Basking in the euphoria, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect expressed "a feeling of pride". ".. a feeling of great respect and a great feeling of gratitude to this people, of which my family is a part, who encouraged me and the fighting spirit that accompanied me. Coming back today, and meeting the authorities of the country honors me once again." he said.
Present at the reception were traditional dancers and a local music band who entertained Kere and guests.
Nébila Aristide Bazié, president of Burkina architects association expressed joy the award had put Burkina Faso at least one place on the map.
"This prize has allowed us to discover where Burkina Faso is. So for us it is a pride, a huge joy for our country." Bazié said.
Kere was born about a hundred miles east of Ouagdougou at a time the country was known as the Upper Volta. He was presented with the Pritzker Prize on May 27 at a ceremony in London and becomes the first African to receive the award widely regarded as the highest distinction of the profession.
"Everything is possible if you believe in it, the impossible or what has never been done, is possible. You have to listen to know that it is possible and you have to get to work. I have never waited, I have never waited for someone to hand me anything." he stressed.
The Pritzker Prize-winning architect uses local materials and an eye for traditional practices to push the global boundaries of sustainability in some of the world’s most vulnerable and threatened places.