Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is the winner of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016 for his novel Season of Crimson Blossoms. He beat out Chika Unigwe and Elnathan John for the US$100,000 prize money.
It’s been a very profitable day for Nigerian writer Abubakar Adam Ibrahim as his debut novel Season of Crimson Blossoms published by Parresia Publishers won big at the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016. The announcement was made a couple of hours ago in Lagos, Nigeria.
The chair of the prize this year was Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo who was assisted by Prof Dan Izevbaye, well-respected literary critic and a professor of English Language at Bowen University, Iwo, Professor Asabe Usman Kabir, Professor of Oral and African Literatures at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto and Professor Isidore Diala, a professor of African Literature at Imo State University, Owerri and first winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism.
It’s been a long slog for the Nigerian writer who is also a journalist. Born in Jos, Nigeria Ibrahim grew up wanting to tell stories by any means possible, including self-drawn comics. Eventually he started writing and published his debut short story collection, The Whispering Trees (Parresia Publishers, Lagos, 2012) to critical acclaim. It was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature and shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
His groundbreaking book based in Northern Nigeria has been received by critics and readers who loved the book in equal measure. These include this blogger in this review. He was a front runner for this prize when the shortlist where he was put alongside Chika Unigwe and Elnathan John was announced in September this year.
There has been little controversy this year as the awards committee opted to handout the big payday as opposed to 2015 when they felt that none of the work submitted qualified for the children’s award. Fiction will be the featured genre of writing in four years time as the prize goes around poetry, screenplay and children’s literature.