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Chukwubuike’s The Global Stab wins inaugural Stimulus Prize

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Chidozie Chukwubuike has won the maiden Stimulus Prize for New Writing. His work, The Global Stab, was declared winner in a tightly contested race that also had Umar Kakamu Aliyu’s Resilience and the Pandemic, Ebika Anthony’s Vicious Visitor and Ikechukwu Otuu Egbuta’s Impudent Harvester.

The event, which held Friday, July 3, 2020, was done virtually.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, ANA Integrity Forum (AIF), Prince Bolade Olukokun said the platform was created to bring all Nigerian writers together to discuss literature and literary developments.

“ The prize has been launched to keep writers productive as they daily confront COVID-19,” Olukokun said.

The judges received 12 entries for the first edition of the prize, which was open for only poetry. After weeks of assessment, a shortlist of four poets was made.

“To reach our decision, each judge graded each poem over 100 per cent. The scores were collected and calculated to determine the poem with the highest cumulative score. It was a keenly contested exercise,” said Dr. Wale Okediran, former President of Association of Nigerian Authors, on behalf of the jury, which included Ms. Ekaete George, Ms. Iquo DianaAbasi and Dr. Obari Gomba.

Okediran added, “the jury is pleased with the competitors for producing poems of good quality (consistent with the great tradition of Nigerian Literature). However, the jury believes that the works would have profited from better editing. It is our hope that subsequent editions of this prize will record greater participation, quality, and reward. We urge all writers to keep faith with the process and enrich it.”

Mr. Ydo Yao, the regional director, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, commended the forum, with which the UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja has enjoyed a fruitful collaborative relationship since the organisation of the first Resiliart debate, for instituting this prize.

“As we all know, the entire world is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists are frantically searching for cures and vaccines. Cultural creators and artists like most of us at this ceremony, in obeying the physical and social distancing protocols necessary to stop the spread of the virus, have been affected in a lot of ways. In all of this, the cultural and creative industries, or which writing and publishing form a core part, is one of the hardest hit economic sub-sectors in the world.”

He continued, “this, has, in turn, affected the livelihoods of writers, musicians, painters, etcetera, pushing them towards the brink and sometimes over the edge into poverty. The reality of this situation is that we are having a virtual prize awarding ceremony, where traditionally, we would all have gathered at avenue to celebrate the winner.”

During these times, when such threats face all of us who are involved in culture and creativity in one form or another, the need to support ourselves has never been more urgent.

He said the four poems shortlisted before the winner was finally selected are all beautifully written and well crafted, and all speaking to the precarious existence of living with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this edition, the sum of N20, 000 only and a certificate was presented to the winner. As a form of support for the next edition, Okediran also donated a sum of N20,000.


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