Obari Gomba, an Associate Dean of Humanities at the University of Port Harcourt, has won the Nigerian Prize for Literature 2023.
Gomba, a poet and playwright, who teaches Literature and Creative Writing at University of Port Harcourt, won with his Drama book, Grit.
He emerged from 145 entries, 11 Longlist and later Three Shortlist, beating two other playwrights in a fiercely contested finals at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, on October13, 2023.
The other playwrights are; Abideen Abolaji Ojomu (Ojuelegba Crossroads) and Henry Akubuiro (Yamtarawala – The Warrior King).
With his victory, which is coming after five attempts at the prize, across three 11 Longlists and two Three Shortlists, Gomba takes home $100,000 grand Prize in the winner takes-it-all contest.
In his acceptance speech he commended the NLNG for the prize platform, which he said has positively impacted Nigerian literature and creative industry at large, while commending other two contestants, who he described as winners too.
Apart from the highly coveted Nigerian Prize for Literature, the NLNG also announced Eyoh Etim, a lecturer at Akwa Ibom State University, as winner of Literary Criticism Prize. Eyoh takes home $10, 000 for his literary prowess at the contest.
As well, Hippolite Amadi, a professor of Medical Engineering & Technology, Imperial College London, won the 2023 Nigerian Prize for Science.
Earlier in his opening remarks at the ceremony, Philip Mshelbila, managing director/chief executive officer, Nigeria LNG Limited, noted that the 2023 prize ceremony holds on the theme ‘Redefination’, in line with the need to reevaluate our priorities, visions and to push for change that will make the world a better place for businesses and humans.
Speaking on the prizes, the NLNG boss noted that the authors have used the power of words to redefine values, institute change and call attention to things that need to be preserved in a fast changing world.
He commended all the writers for exhibiting a high level of literary ingenuity, while assuring on sustained support for the prizes.