The winner in the Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Book Review, will be announced on Friday, November 9 at the ongoing 20th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), which ends on November 11 at Freedom Park, Lagos. The annual competition designed to encourage culture of critical engagement of the written text or any work of art, was released on Day Three of the Festival.
The organisers said this is the third edition of the prize that was launched at the 17th edition in 2015, which focussed on reviews of any two of the books of the writer, environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was murdered by the State on November 10, 1995. Literature researcher, Benson Eluma won that first edition.
There was no competition in 2016.
Last year’s thus marked the second edition of the Prize and the focus was Niyi Osundare’s poetry collections. Writer and journalist, Henry Chiemeke, won the N100,000 prize money for his review of Osundare’s Tender Moments: Love Poems.
For this third edition, the call for entries expected contestants to write reviews of three of Tunde Kelani’s films. Kelani, who turned 70 in March, is the second Festival Honouree for the year; the other being the master painter and teacher, Kolade Oshinowo, who was also 70 in March.
According to the judges, a total of nine entries were received out of which the three shortlisted have been selected.
“A movie or book review provides the viewer or reader with the first critical engagement with a work of art. This makes the reviewer a critical even if opinionated arbiter and taste-maker.
“The review must evaluate, analyse and provide specifics that would grab the reader’s attention and compel them to see the movie or read the book.
“Our winning entry was chosen for its adherence to the rules, its simple yet evocative use of language as well as succinct analysis of the movies under consideration.
Noting certain shortcomings in some of the entries even while praising the quality of some of them, the judges announced that the three finalists are entries by (not in any particular order).
i, Abayomi Folaranmi –
ii. Tunde Onikoyi –
iii. Gbade Gabriel –