Senegalese writer and 2021 winner of the prestigious literary prize, Prix Goncourt, was awarded a top honour by Senegalese President Macky Sall.
"Mr Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, we make you a Commander in the National Order of the Lion" announced president, Macky Sall.
Thirty-one year old Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the first sub-saharan African writer to receive one of France's most coveted awards.
"It's a reaffirmation of Senegalese culture and of the place that culture occupies in this country, which is an extremely high place and one by which this country has always been recognised", said Mohamed Mbougar Sarr.
Mbougar Sarr is the son of a Senegalese doctor and was an avid reader and excellent student growing up, as testeified by his mother who attended the ceremony.
"Yes, he loved reading so much (when he was a kid) that he had a yearly subscription. And at the end of every month, he would pick up his Mickey book and devour it in a few days", admitted Astou Sarr.
The winning novel, "La plus secrete memoire des hommes" ("The most secret memory of men") is the author's fifth novel.
It only took the jury one round of voting to pick the winner.