Jude Idada, Dunni Olatunde, and O T Begho are the three writers on the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2019 shortlist announced in Lagos, Nigeria on September 4, 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 was announced on July 18 from the 173 entries. The shortlist of those still in the running for the continent’s biggest prize are A Hero’s Welcome, Ndidi Enenmor.
- Boom, Boom, Jude Idada.
- Mystery at Ebenezer’s Lodge, Dunni Olatunde
- The Great Walls of Benin, O. T. Begho
The winners of the Literature and Literary Criticism prizes will be are revealed at an award ceremony in October 2019.