Sunday, July 04, 2021

Nigeria Prize for Literature: 11 contenders battle for $100,000 - ITREALMS

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The advisory board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has shortlisted some
11 contenders for the 2021 edition of the prize, worth $100,000, about N41,046.282 million, reports 
ITREALMS.

The literature prize is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) with a cash award of
$100,000.
The 11 books on the shortlist, in alphabetical order by the title of the book, are:
Delusion of Patriots, Obianuju V. Chukwuorji; Give Us Each Day, Samuel Monye; Imminent River, Anaele Ihuoma; In The Name of Our Father, Olukorede S. Yishau, and Mountain of Yesterday, Tony Nwaka.

Others are Neglected, Lucy Chiamaka Okwuma; The Colours of Hatred, Obinna Udenwa; The Girl with The Louding Voice, Abi Dare; The Return of Half- Something, Chukwudi Eze;The Son of The House, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Your Church My Shrine, Law Ikay Ezeh,

The list was presented by Professor Toyin Jegede, chairman, Panel of Judges for this year’s prize, who is a professor of Literature in English at the University of Ibadan.

The other judges are Prof. Tanimu Abubakar and Solomon Azumurana. Professor
Abubakar is a Professor of Literature in the Faculty of Art, Ahmadu Bello University,
Zaria. Azumurana is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University
of Lagos.

The judges described the shortlist as fresh approaches to looking at issues, using new
and exciting narrative strategies, techniques and well-written organic plots to present
topical discussions in realistic ways. The judges stated that there has been a visible
improvement in writing skills and commended NLNG for giving writers the platform to
blossom and experiment.

As in the past, The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s biggest reward for creative
excellence, will be keenly contested.

According to the Eyono Fatayi-Williams, general manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, she quoted the chairperson of the prize’s Advisory Board, Professor Akachi Adimora-
Ezeigbo, the Board unanimously agreed that the shortlist of 11 was an excellent list.

She expressed her appreciation to the judges for a thorough job in selecting the shortlist.
She stated that excellence was the watchword of the prize, adding that the onus was on
the Advisory Board to continue in the tradition that was handed to them by the past Board.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2004 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2005, poetry) for The Dreamer, His Vision; Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto, for his volume of poetry, Chants of a Minstrel (co-winner, 2005, poetry) Ahmed Yerima (2005, drama) for his classic, Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) with her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary with her book, Yellow Yellow (2008, prose); Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012, prose), with her novel, On Black Sister’s Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013, poetry) with his collection of poems, The Sahara Testaments; Professor Sam Ukala (2014, drama) with his play, Iredi War; Abubakar Adam Ibrahim with his novel Season of Crimson Blossoms (2016, prose); Ikeogu Oke with his collection of poetry, The Heresiad; (2017, poetry); Soji Cole with his play, Embers (2018, drama); and Jude Idada with his book, Boom, Boom (2019, Children Literature).

The prize runs concurrently with the Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism (also sponsored by NLNG), for which four entries were received in 2020. The literary criticism prize carries a monetary value of N1 million.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary categories – prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.

ITREALMS, a further shortlist of three is anticipated in September this year, while a winner, if any, will be made public by October, 2021.

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