Congratulations to Tade Ipadeola who has been declared the winner of the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by NLNG! Ipadeola’s poetry collection The Sahara Testament beat the works of the other shortlisted writers - Amu Nnadi (Through the Window of a Sandcastle) and Promise Ogochukwu (Wild Letters) to clinch the $100,000 prize.
This year’s panel of judges was chaired by Professor Romanus Egudu, a professor of English at Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu State and former president of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. Other members of the panel are Professor Omolara Ogundipe of the Department of English at University of Port Harcourt; and Dr Andrew Aba of the Department of English at Benue State University. Making the announcement at the Oceanview Restaurant in Victoria Island earlier today, NLNG's General Manager, External Relations Kudo Eresia-Eke said that the volume stood "as a metonym for the problems of Africa and indeed the whole of humanity.” A practising lawyer, Ipadeola has published three volumes of poetry, along with collections of short stories and essays. He is the President of PEN International, Nigeria Centre, an organisation that promotes literature and advocates freedom of expression. The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly among the genres of prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. Previous winners of the prize since its inception in 2004 include Gabriel Okara, Mabel Segun and Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo. Last year's prize was won by Chika Unigwe for her novel On Black Sisters’ Street.