The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature has announced the longlist of 11 plays in contention for the 2023 edition of the prize.
The prize, sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, offers a cash award of $100,000.
The longlist, focused on the genre of drama, was selected from a pool of 143 entries.
The plays on the longlist include Dance of The Sacred Feet by Ade Adeniji, Gidan Juju by Victor S. Dugga, Grit by Obari Gomba, Home Coming by Cheta Igbokwe and
The Boat People by Christopher Anyokwu.
Others are 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 and The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro.
The judges praised the plays for their profound themes and the playwrights’ ability to bring their characters and narratives to life.
The shortlist of three plays will be announced in September, and the winner will be revealed in October. The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly among four literary categories, including prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.
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.
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.