The final shortlist of three writers has been approved by the Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited. This announcement follows an initial shortlist of eleven which was released in August. The three shortlisted writers, in alphabetical order of their surname, are Tade Ipadeola (The Sahara Testaments), Amu Nnadi (through the window of a sandcastle) and Promise Ogochukwu (Wild Letters).
According to the chairman of the Advisory Board, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, the eventual winner of the competition will be announced at a World Press Conference on 9th October, 2013.
Poet and Lawyer, Tade Ipadeola, lives in Ibadan, Nigeria, from where he writes and practices law. Ipadeola has authored three volumes of poetry along with other published short stories and essays. He is the current President of PEN International, Nigeria Centre, an organization which promotes literature and advocates freedom of expression.
Amu Nnadi is the author of the fire within and pilgrim’s passage, two volumes of poetry well received in Nigeria. His debut volume of poetry, the fire within, won the maiden edition of ANA/NDDC Gabriel Okara Prize for Poetry. Amu Nnadi, who writes poetry without punctuation and capital letters and publishes without any personal data and name, lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and currently works at the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Armed with a PhD in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan, Ogochukwu Promise has published several literary works including novels, children’s literature, short stories, drama, poetry and essays. In 2005, Ogochukwu was on the shortlist of three for The Nigeria Prize for Literature with her volume of poetry, Naked Among These Hills. Ogochukwu lives in Lagos, Nigeria, where she is actively involved in various charity programmes and activities.
The chairman of the panel of judges is Romanus Egudu, a professor of English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu State and former president of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. Other members of the panel are Prof. Omolara Ogundipe of the Department of English, University of Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and Dr. Andrew Aba of the Department of English, Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State.
Other members of the Advisory Board, besides Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo, are Dr. Jerry Agada, former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors and Prof. Ben Elugbe, former president of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature has since 2004 rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara for his volume of poetry The Dreamer, His Vision (co-winner 2004 – poetry); Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto, for his volume of poetry Chants of a Minstrel (co-winner 2004 poetry); Ahmed Yerima (2005 – drama) for his book Hard Ground; Mabel Segun (co-winner 2007 – children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Prof. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner 2007 – children’s literature) with her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008 – prose) for her novel Yellow Yellow; 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 and Chika Unigwe (2012 – prose), with her novel, On Black Sisters’ Street.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2013 prize is for poetry and comes with a cash prize of $100, 000. Next year is drama. A total of 201 books were submitted this year for the prize.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature and The Nigeria Prize for Science are some of Nigeria LNG Limited’s numerous contributions towards building a better Nigeria.