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Idada, Olatunde, Begho make final shortlist for literature prize


The Nigeria Prize for Literature

The advisory board has unveiled Jude Idada’s Boom Boom, Dunni Olatunde’s Mystery at Ebenezer Lodge and O.T. Begho’s The Great Walls of Benin as finalists for 2019 The Nigeria Prize for Literature, worth $100,000, and sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).

The prize has produced 14 winners and the 15th will be announced at an award night on October 11.

Last year, Soji Cole won with Embers and he got $100,000 in the process.

Except for drama, all the other genres have had no winner declared at one time or the other — 2004 (Prose), 2009 (Poetry) and 2015 (Children Literature).


Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo; Promise Ogochukwu; Bina Nengi-llagha; Prof. Ahmed Yerima; Omo Uwaifo; Obari Gomba; Soji Cole and Jude Idada have been long-listed more than once.

Members of the advisory board are Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, Professor Jerry Agada, and Professor Emeritus Ben Elugbe

Prof. Banjo pledged sustenance of the high literary standards, remarking that the prize remains the most prestigious in Africa.

The chairman of the panel of judges for this year’s prize, Obodimma Oha, is a professor of Cultural Semiotics and Stylistics in the Department of English, University of Ibadan.

Other members include Professor Asabe Usman Kabir and Dr. Patrick Oloko.

In picking the finalists, the judges said that the books represent a high degree of creativity.

The international consultant to the board for this year’s event is Kelvin Nyong Toh, a professor of English at the University of Bamenda, Cameroun.

Besides, a United Kingdom-based Chinese scientist, Prof. Meihong Wang, and a Nigerian, Dr. Mathew Aneke, have won this year’s $100, 000 Nigeria Prize for Science for their joint entry on climate change.

The pair had submitted works on carbon capture, utilisation, and biomass gasification and energy storage for power generation, as announced yesterday by the advisory board of the Nigeria Prize for Science, led by Prof. Akpoveta Susu.

The entries, centered on the theme, “Climate Change: Erosion, Drought, and Desertification”.

The focus for this year’s prize was significant because the adverse impact of climate change is the major cause of soil degradation and low productivity.

Wang is a professor of Energy Systems at the University of Sheffield, while Dr. Aneke, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, is a post-doctoral research fellow at the same institution.

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