Sony Labou Tansi (1947–95) was a Congolese novelist, poet, and dramatist, and a member of the African avant-garde. He was born in Kimwanza, Zaire, and in 1971 was appointed to teach French and English at Kindauba. In the same year he started to write seriously. In 1979 Tansi founded the Rocardo Zulu Theatre and published his first novel, La Vie et demie, which won the Prix Spécial du Festival de la Francophonie. His plays were staged in Paris, Dakar, and New York. Tansi won several literary awards, including the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire for L'anté-peuple, the Palme de la Francophonie in 1985 for Les sept solitudes de Lorsa Lopez, and in 1988 the Ibsen Foundation Prize.