The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2019 longlist was announced in Lagos, Nigeria on July 18, 2019.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature was founded to honour Nigerian authors in the four genres of fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. Started in 2004, it is the richest prize in African literature with the winner pocketing US$100,000. 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 focuses 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 award. The panel of judges who will be deciding if the books are worthy enough this year is chaired by poet, editor, and University of Ibadan’s Prof Obododinma Oha. He is joined by Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto’s Prof Asabe Usman Kabir and University of Lagos Nigeria’s Dr Patrick Okolo.
The longlist from the 173 entries was announced by the chair of the judge’s panel on Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Those in the running for the big pay day 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
- The Great Walls of Benin, O. T. Begho
There will be a shortlist announced in September before the winners of the Literature and Literary Criticism prizes are revealed at an award ceremony on October 2019.