ZAM Reporter

Dutch Erasmus Prize for Trevor Noah

“It feels good to take back some of the resources”, Trevor Noah, the youngest winner of the award ever, said in his words of thanks at the ceremony in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on Tuesday, 28 November, 2023.

The Prize, launched 65 years ago with Charlie Chaplin as its first recipient, comes with an amount of 150 000 euros. This years theme – In Praise of Folly, the title of Dutch humanist and philosopher Desiderius Erasmus’ (1466 – 1536) most famous book – was ‘made for Noah’. The South African, until recently the host of the US Daily Show, attracts audiences of thousands with his shows worldwide.

Noah was amazed to receive the prestigious prize. "When I began my comedy career, I never could have dreamed that a small stage in Johannesburg would become the first piece of a puzzle connecting me with people worldwide," he said. He views comedy as a connection, a "deep human bond" formed through shared dreams. "Whether you're from Amsterdam or Johannesburg, we all journey through life's complexities together." Noah continued, explaining that laughter breaks barriers and serves as a reminder that light exists even in the darkest moments.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people: members of the Royal House, antiracism activists, performers, politicians and representatives of civil society organisations.