Romeo Oriogun has been crowned winner of this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature for his collection, ‘Nomad’ which was chosen out of 287 submissions.
Chair of the Advisory Board of the prize, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo announced the winner during an award presentation ceremony for both the Nigeria Prize for Science and the Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2022, at Eko Hotels in Lagos.
Oriogun won the Nigeria LNG Limited worth $100,000, beating two other powerful contenders Saddiq Dzukogi (Your Crib, My Qibla) and Su’eddie Vershima Agema (Memory and the Call of Water).
Nomad journeys through the hearts and minds of every displaced Nigerian as it is themed around migration and displacement with fresh language.
However, Agema’s Memory and the Call of Water consistently deploys memory to mirror life and calling through the metaphor of water, while Dzukogi’s Your Crib, My Qibla leafs through heartbreak with lyrical poetry effortless imagery and anguish.
In 2017, Oriogun won the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and The Future Awards African Prize for Literature. He is an alumnus of the Ebedi International Writers Residency and his poems have appeared in numerous publications.
Other judges include Professor Emmanuel Egya Sule, a professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State who chaired the panel; Toyin Adewale-Gabriel and Dike Chukwumerije. Adewale-Gabriel is a poet and fiction writer while Dike Chukwumerije is a spoken word artist, award-winning author and performance poet par excellence.
Ugandan poet and literary scholar Professor Susan Nalugwa Kiguli is the International Consultant to the Advisory Board for this year’s prize. She is an associate professor of literature at Makerere University. Kiguli has served as a judge for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (African Region, 1999), and an advisory board member for the African Writers Trust.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature alternates yearly between four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.
The Nigeria Prizes for Literature, Science and Literary Criticism sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, are annual prizes established to recognise and reward excellent works in literature and science.