Many congratulations to Sam Ukala! The writer, director, and academic has been awarded the 2014 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature for his play Iredi War.
Ukala's win was announced by Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo at a press conference held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos earlier this week. This year's shortlist also included Friday John Abba and Jude Idada for their plays Alekwu Night Dance and Oduduwa, King of the Edos. The N1 million prize for literary criticism - last awarded in 2012 - was awarded to Isidore Diala for his article “Colonial Mimicry and Post-Colonial Remembering in Isidore Okpewho’s Call Me by My Rightful Name”.
Ukala was formerly the chairman of the Delta State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) His previous publications include The Log in Your Eye and The Slave Wife. Iredi War, set in the early 20th century, depicts the social and political turmoil faced by the Owa Kingdom of the Niger Delta as British colonialists sought to seize control of the region.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature was established by Nigeria LNG Limited as part of their corporate citizenship programme and commitment to the development of Nigerian society. It is awarded annually and rotates between four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. It is the largest prize of its kind in Africa, with $100,000 given to winners. The 2013 Prize was won by Tade Ipadeola for his poetry collection The Sahara Testaments.