The richest literary prize on the continent, despite all you may have heard, is the Nigeria Prize for Literature. This prize, sponsored by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), see one writer go home with a cool US$100,000. For comparison purposes, the Caine Prize winner goes home with UK pounds10,000 and the Etisalat Winner will be going home with 15,000. Do both of those in dollars and the Naija prize beats all comers.
This years prize went to Tade Ipadeola for his book The Sahara Testaments. Ipadeola who is based in Ibadan is a legal practitioner and poet and has published three volumes of poetry-A Time of Signs (2000) and The Rain Fardel (2005).
His third volume of poetry which is the Award winning collection of poetry, The Sahara Testaments – a sequence of 1000 quatrains on the nuances of the Sahara, is his latest work. The book was published by Hornbill House of the Arts, Lagos.
Previous winners of the prize
2012 – Chika Unigwe for Black Sisters Street
2011 – Adeleke Adeyemi (Mai Nasara), The Missing Clock
2010 – Esiaba Irobi, Cemetery Road
2009 – None
2008 – Kaine Agary, Yellow Yellow
2007 – Mabel Segun, Readers’ Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People
Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, My Cousin Sammy
2006 – Ahmed Yerima, Hard Ground
2005 – Gabriel Okara, The Dreamer: His Vision
Ezenwa Ohaeto, Chants of a Minstrel
2004 – None.