Daily Trust Editor Wins $100,000 Literature Prize
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim has won the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016 for his novel ‘Season of Crimson Blossoms’, beating Chika Unigwe’s ‘Night Dancer’ and Elnathan John’s ‘Born on a Tuesday’.
The result was announced on Wednesday by the Advisory Board of the Nigeria Prize for Literature at a press conference in Lagos.
Ibrahim, who is a journalist and Art Editor with Daily Trust newspapers has won the BBC African Performance Playwriting Competition in 2007, the Amatu Braide Prize for Prose in 2008 and is a 2013 Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow and a 2015 Civitella Ranieri Fellow.
He is included in the Hay Festival’s Africa 39 (List of the 39 most promising African Writers under the age of 40).
Ibrahim’s novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, emerged winner from among 172 other entries received for the competition.
According to Prof. Banjo, “It was a strong field this year. The shortlisted entries were very strong and the board had no difficulty in accepting the recommendation of the panel of judges, considering the subject matter and competent manner in which Ibrahim demonstrated the execution of his work.”
Reacting to the verdict, the General Manager, External Relations at NLNG, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said: “It has been a very rigorous process and we are very happy that at the end of the day, both the international consultant and panel of judges came to an alignment. We are very proud of the quality of entries received.
“Let me reiterate very clearly that we will continue to support integrity and excellence, which are some of the pillars we have built NLNG’s success as a company on.”
The prize is awarded with a cash prize of $100,000, the 19th richest literary prize in the world and the richest in Africa.
The decision on the winning entry of The Nigeria Prize for Literature was reached by a panel of judges, led by Prof. Dan Izevbaye, a well-respected literary critic and professor of Literature in English; Prof. Asabe Usman Kabir, professor of Oral and African Literature at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; and Professor Isidore Diala, first winner of The Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism and Professor of African Literature in the Department of English, Imo State University, Owerri.
The international consultant, Prof. Kojo Senanu of the University of Legon, is an internationally acclaimed scholar.
The panel had, through the advisory board, released a shortlist of 11 writers in July 2016 and later, a shortlist of three in September 2016. The three shortlisted entries in alphabetic order, were ‘Born on a Tuesday (Elnathan John), Night Dancer (Chika Unigwe), and Season of Crimson Blossoms (Abubakar Adam Ibrahim)’.