Jude Idada

Jude Idada was announced the winner of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2019 at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria on October 11, 2019.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored annually by oil firm NLNG, was started in 2004 to honour Nigerian authors in the four genres of fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. Over the last few years, winners have been Soji Cole for drama (2018), Ikeogu Oke for poetry (2017), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim for prose (2016), Sam Ukala for drama (2014), Tade Ipadeola for poetry (2013), and Chika Unigwe for prose (2012).

This year, the prize focused on Children’s Literature which failed to be awarded in 2015 as the panel of judges felt that there was no book worthy of winning. The panel of judges who chose the winner this year was chaired by poet, editor, and University of Ibadan’s Prof Obododinma Oha. He was ably assisted by Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto’s Prof Asabe Usman Kabir and University of Lagos Nigeria’s Dr Patrick Okolo. The longlist was announced on July 18 from the 173 entries while the shortlist was announced on September 4.

The winner of the richest prize in African writing, worth US$100,000, has been revealed today as Jude Idada for his book Boom, Boom, a riveting story focusing on the sickle cell illness through the lens of an eight-year-old boy.

“This award is for everyone; the last three finalists, the 12-year-old girl that was also a contender and one of those cheering me all the way. We will keep winning,” an emotional Idada said.

He also posted on his Twitter

We won it.
The NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2019
All of us.
I who wrote.
You who read.
Everyone who has supported and cheered me on.
And the warriors who suffer the scourge of Sickle Cell Anaemia.
This is for us all.
#NLNG #Nigprizeforlit #SickleCell #boomboom #judeidada