The longlist for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2022, the richest on the continent, has been announced today, Friday, August 26, 2022.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored annually by oil firm NLNG, was started to honour Nigerian authors in the four genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature in 2004. The prize worth US$100,000 makes it the richest in African letters today. Over the last few years, winners have been Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia (2021), Jude Idada (2019), Soji Cole (2018), Ikeogu Oke (2017), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016), Sam Ukala (2014), Tade Ipadeola (2013), and Chika Unigwe (2012).
The judging panel for 2022 is Prof Sule Emmanuel Egya (Chairman), Toyin Adewale-Gabriel, and Dike Chukwumerije. The advisory board includes previous winner Prof Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (Chair); Prof. Olu Bafemi, and Prof. Ahmed Yerima.
This year, the prize focus is on poetry and those in the longlist selected from 237 entries were announced on July 8 before the shortlist was revealed today. Those who have made the shortlist are;
- Memory and the Call of Water, Su’eddie Vershima Agema – In this collection, there is a consistent use of memory to reflect on life and destiny through the metaphor of water.
- Nomad, Romeo Oriogun – The collection has a fresh language and a nostalgic engagement with the themes of exile and displacement.
- Your Crib, My Qibla, Saddiq Dzukogi – This volume translates tragedy into lyrical poetry with pathos and effortless imagery.
Romeo Oriogun reacted to the shortlist by saying, “I am stunned and so happy to know that my collection, Nomad, is on the shortlist for the one hundred thousand dollars NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature.”
Saddiq Dzukogi said, “I am stunned, and delighted that my book, Your Crib, My Qibla, is shortlisted for my country’s highest literary honor, @NGRLitPrize @Sueddieagema, @SonOfOlokun , one of us is about make $100,000!!! I am honored to be standing alongside you! It’s a good morning!”
Su’eddie Vershima Agema said, “Excited to be on this list with my brothers, Romeo and Saddiq M, who I love dearly and with whom, I have walked many literary paths. This is a win on many fronts and I am humbled that we are the faces around which this spectacular story is being told. Coming on the heels of Tares Oburumu’s Sillerman Prize, this says much. To every creative out there and those toiling, keep on keeping on. Sefi Attah is right: Everything good will come.”