Igho goes to farm, 10 others vie for 2019 literature prize
The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has announced the shortlist of 11 drawn from 173 books, in the running for the 2019 edition of the prize. The 11 books on the shortlist, in alphabetical order by the title of the book, are:
A Hero’s Welcome (Ndidi Enenmor), Boom, Boom (Jude Idada), Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree (Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani), Double ‘A’ for Adventure (Anisa Daniel-Oniko), Ginika’s Adventures (Nnena Ochiche), Igho Goes to Farm (Anote Ajeluorou), Mystery at Ebenezer’s Lodge (Dunni Olatunde), Obioma: A Girl’s Journey to Self-Discovery (Nkiru Uzoh), She Calls Him Daddy (Oladele Medaiyese), Spurred Surprises (Lami Adejoh Opawale) and The Great Walls of Benin (O. T. Begho).
The list was presented by the chairman, panel of judges for this year’s prize, Professor Obodimma Oha, professor of Cultural Semiotics and Stylistics in the Department of English, the University of Ibadan on Thursday. Other members of the panel of judges include Professor Asabe Usman Kabir, professor of Oral and African Literatures at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto and Dr. Patrick Oloko, a Senior lecturer at the University of Lagos Nigeria who specialises in African postcolonial literature, gender and cultural studies.
As in the past, The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s biggest reward for creative excellence, will be keenly contested. The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2004 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2004, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2004, poetry) for The Dreamer, His Vision; 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 (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) and Soji Cole with his play, Embers (2018, drama).
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, worth $100, 000 in prize money, rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2019 prize is for children’s literature. Next year’s competition will focus on prose fiction.
Nigeria LNG Limited remains committed to responsible corporate citizenship, and The Nigeria Prize for Literature is one of its numerous contributions towards building a better Nigeria. A shortlist of three is expected in September. The Advisory Board, if any, will announce a winner, in October.
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