April 21, 2024

Akubuiro, Gomba, Ojomu make 2023 shortlist of three for NLNG Nigeria prize for literature 

Akubuiro, Gomba, Ojomu make 2023 shortlist of three for NLNG Nigeria prize for literature 

Oredola Adeola
 
The “Yamtarawala – The Warrior King” by Henry Akubuiro, “Grit” by Obari Gomba, and “The Ojuelegba Crossroads” by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu have made the 2023 final shortlist of the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Nigeria Prize for Literature. This prize is held annually to celebrate authors and their works, and it offers a cash prize of $100,000. 

 

The Chairperson of the Advisory Board, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, made the announcement of the

three finalists for the 2023 edition of the Prize in a live broadcast obtained by EnergyDay on Tuesday through Andy Odeh, General Manager, NLNG External Relations and Sustainable Development.
EnergyDay’s check showed that the Nigeria Prize for Literature is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), which is known for sponsoring some of the biggest and most prestigious prizes in Africa for Science, Literature, and Literary criticism. The longlist for the prize included 11 plays, and the final shortlist was selected from these entries.
According to Professor Adimora-Ezeigbo the shortlisted plays in alphabetical order of their titles are Grit by Obari Gomba, The Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu, and Yamtarawala – The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro.
The Chairperson revealed that the Nigeria Prize for Literature is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) and carries a cash award of $100,000, adding that a total of 143 plays were entered for the competition, which focuses on drama.
According to the Board, the plays stand tall in terms of dramatology, language, performance, story, and structure.
The Board also said the plays represent the pinnacle of literary craftsmanship and the artistic convergence that The Nigeria Prize for Literature tirelessly seeks.
The Board stated “For Grit by Obari Gomba, the judges have applauded it as a great play that transcends its covers. Its pages unfold a captivating narrative that has left an indelible mark, and its production quality is nothing short of excellent.
The Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu has deeply resonated with the judges, who commend its rich exploration of our socio-political fabric. The play’s ability to confront everyday struggles and decision-making conflicts while aiming for a harmonious resolution underscores its significant impact.
“Yamtarawala – The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro captured the judges’ admiration for its dramatic twists, rendering it not only suited for the stage but also the screen. The narrative unfolds in ways that evoke a profound sense of engagement and excitement.”
“Our dedicated judges and the Advisory Board over the years have consistently worked together to seamlessly blend the contemporary heartbeat with the essence of Nigerian literature. This Shortlist serves as a testament to this harmonious fusion and the enduring legacy of our nation’s literary landscape,” the Board added.
The winner will be announced by the Advisory Board on October 13, 2023.
EnergyDay gathered that Professor Victor K. Yankah from the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, serves as the International Consultant for this year’s edition of the Prize.
This same time four years ago in the Drama genre, Soji Cole (Embers), Denja Abdullahi (Death and The King’s Grey Hair), and Akanji Nasiru (The Rally) were announced in the 2018 Shortlist of Three.
Soji Cole went on to win the Prize.
Other playwrights who had been listed in the shortlist in previous years are Friday John Abba (Alekwu Night Dance), Jude Idada (Oduduwa, King of the Edos) and Sam Ukala (Iredi War – Winner) in 2014; Irobi Esiaba (Cemetery Road- Winner), Ahmed Yerima (Little Drops), and Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba (The Killing Swamp) in 2010; and Emeka Egwuda (Esoteric Dialogue), Femi Osofisan (Ajayi Crowther) and Ahmed Yerima (Hard Ground- Winner) in 2006.
Other members of the Advisory Board include Professor Olu Obafemi and Professor Ahmed Yerima.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary categories – prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.