11 playwrights jostle for 100,000 The Nigeria Prize for Literature

The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Thursday, July 20, 2023, announced the longlist of 11 drawn from 143 plays in the running for the 2023 edition of the prize. The genre in focus is Drama.

The literature prize is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) with a cash award of $100,000, according to a press statement signed by Mr. Andy Odeh, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development of NLNG and made available to Newsmart.

The 11 plays on the longlist, in alphabetical order by their titles are:

*Dance of The Sacred Feet by Ade Adeniji
*Gidan Juju by Victor S. Dugga
*Grit by Obari Gomba
*Home Coming by Cheta Igbokwe
*The Boat People by Christopher Anyokwu
*The Brigadiers of a Mad Tribe by Abuchi Modilim
*The Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu
*The Spellbinder by Bode Sowande
*When Big Masquerades Dance Naked by Olubunmi Familoni
*Where Is Patient Zero by Olatunbosun Taofeek
Yamtarawala - The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro

The list was presented to the Advisory Board by the Chairman, Panel of Judges for this year’s prize, Professor Ameh Dennis Akoh, a Professor of Drama and Critical Theory at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State. Other panel members include Professor Osita Catherine Ezenwanebe and Dr Rasheedah Liman.

In their report, the judges stated that the longlist consisted of plays that unravel profound themes, each evidence of the artistry and creativity of their playwrights. The judges, according to the press statement, also added that the playwrights’ ability to breathe life into their characters and narratives is a testament to their profound insight into the human experience. 

Accepting the recommended longlist, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, the Board’s chairperson, commended the judges for the thorough exercise of picking the best of the entries for 2023. She said the longlist of 11 was a manifestation of the relentless scrutiny and unwavering dedication invested in the pursuit of true dramatic excellence by the judges. 

She also commended the playwrights on the longlist, adding that they have emerged as beacons of distinction in the annals of the literary world in Nigeria. 

Other members of the Advisory Board are Professor Olu Obafemi and Professor Ahmed Yerima.

The judges will also continue adjudication on the 13 entries for The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism, which runs concurrently with The Nigeria Prize for Literature. The literary criticism prize carries a monetary value of $10,000.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary categories - prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.

A shortlist of three is expected in September. The winner will be announced by the Advisory Board in October, the press statement concluded 

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