Obosi monarch, 10 others longlisted for 2018 NLNG Prize for Literature

Henry Akubuiro

The Igwe of Obosi, Eze Chidubem Iweka III, is one of the eleven Nigerian playwrights longlisted for the 2018 Nigeria NLNG Prize for Literature worth $100,000 (one hundred thousand dollars) in prize money.

The 2018 longlist, announced today, in Lagos, by the Advisory Board for the Prize, led by Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo, include:

August Inmates by Chidubem Iweka; published by Kraft Books

Death and The King’s Grey Hair by Denja Abdullahi; published by Kraft Books

Embers by Soji Cole; published by Emotion Press

Guerrilla Post by Obari Gomba; published by Narrative Landscape Press

Majestic Revolt by Peter E. Omoko; published by Malthouse Press

Melancholia by Dul Johnson; published by Sevhage Publishers

No More the Taming Hawks by Diran Ademiju-Bepo; published by Dynasty Tales

Once Upon an Elephant by Bosede Ademilua-Afolayan; published by Kraft Books

Sankara by Jude Idada; published by Parressia Publishing

The Rally by Akanji Nasiru; published by Kraft Books

Unstable by Dickson Ekhaguere; published by Tryspect Solutions

The Rally by Akanji Nasiru; published by Kraft Books

Unstable by Dickson Ekhaguere; published by Tryspect Solutions

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The entries, said the organisers, were dominated by political control and power play.  The longlist of 11 plays chosen from 89 entries was selected by a panel of three judges led by Matthew Umukoro, professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan.

Other members of the panel include Mohammed Inuwa Umar – Buratai, professor of Theatre and Performing Arts and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU), Zaria; and Ngozi Udengwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Members of the Advisory Board for the Literature Prize, besides Professor Banjo, two-time Vice-Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, are Prof. Jerry Agada, former Minister of State for Education, former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, and Professor Emeritus, Ben Elugbe, former President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and president of the West-African Linguistic Society (2004-2013).

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The Nigeria Prize for Literature has, since 2004, rewarded eminent writers such as Gabriel Okara (co-winner, 2004, poetry), Professor Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2004, poetry) for The Dreamer, His Vision; Ahmed Yerima (2005, drama) for his play, Hard Ground;  Mabel Segun (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her collection of short plays Reader’s Theatre; Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (co-winner, 2007, children’s literature) for her book, My Cousin Sammy; Kaine Agary (2008, prose) for her book Yellow Yellow; Esiaba Irobi (2010, drama) who clinched the prize posthumously with his book Cemetery Road; Adeleke Adeyemi (2011, children’s literature) with his book The Missing Clock; Chika Unigwe (2012, prose), with her novel, On Black Sisters Street; Tade Ipadeola (2013, poetry) with his collection of poems, The Sahara Testaments, Professor Sam Ukala (2014, drama) with his play, Iredi War; Seasons of Crimson Blossom, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (2016, prose) and The Heresiad, Ikeogu Oke (2017, poetry).

The Nigeria Prize for Literature with a cash award of $100, 000 is awarded yearly to the best excellent work, alternating amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s Literature will this year be awarded to the best excellent work submitted in the Drama genre.

A shortlist of three, said Any Odeh, Manager, Corporate Communications, NLNG, would be announced in September and a possible winner of the $100,000 prize in October.




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