Writer, professor, and painter: Véronique Tadjo was born in Paris, but completed most of her studies in Côte d’Ivoire, before pursuing advanced degrees in African-American literature and studies in both France and the United States. Her prolific writing includes novels, collections of poetry, and stories for children, which she illustrates herself. She began teaching at the Lycée Moderne in Korhogo, before moving to the Université d’Abidjan and later to the University of Witswatersrand, in Johannesberg, South Africa, where she was the head of the French department from 2007 to 2015.

After receiving the Grand Prix littéraire de l’Afrique Noire in 2005 for Reine Pokou (Ed. Actes Sud and Edilis. [trans. Queen Pokou (Ayebia Clarke, 2009]), the author claimed her place on the literary landscape by taking on the major challenges of her era. Two of her most powerful works respond to two of the most significant crises to rock the African continent in the last twenty-five years: the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda (L’Ombre d’Imana, Ed. Actes Sud, 2000, and Edilis [trans. The Shadow of Imana, Heinemann, 2002]), and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa (En Compagnie des hommes, Don Quichotte, 2017 [trans. In The Company of Men, Other Press, 2021]).

Véronique Tadjo returned to painting in 1995, as part of a group of artists based at the National Museum in Nairobi, and where she presented her work under a literary banner, “magical realism.” From November 2001 to February 2002, she was a painter in residence at the Bag Factory in Johannesburg (South Africa). Her exhibits in both countries were quite successful.

Tadjo’s first canvases were influenced by figurative expression. Yet, with passing years, her style grew freer. Today she is drawn to installations that allow her to explore contemporary issues from a personal, interior angle, even as she continues her exploration of the reemergence of traditional culture in the context of the transformation of contemporary urban Africa.

Véronique Tadjo’s works have been shown in several individual and collective exhibitions in Kenya, South Africa, and Europe. Her works are included in many private collections around the world. Tadjo divides her time between London, Great Britain, and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.