December 2, 2023

The didactic play about socio-political issues outshined all 143 plays received for this year’s prize.

By Helena Olori 

Award-winning poet and playwright, Dr. Obari Gomba, has emerged as the winner of the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature with his play, Grit.

The play bested the two other shortlisted worksThe Ojuelegba Crossroads by Abideen Abolaji Ojomu and Yamtarawala, The Warrior King by Henry Akubuiro – to clinch this year’s award cycle dedicated to the literary works of the drama genre.

Dr. Obari Gomba wins 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature for Grit - Afrocritik
Dr. Obari Gomba wins the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his play, Grit

The captivating winning title, published by Hornbill House, is set in the fictional town of Sonofa and depicts the devastating impact of bad politics on families.

(Read also: Masobe Books Acquires Three New Nigerian Titles for Publishing)

Gomba’s win comes after five attempts at winning the prestigious award since he was first listed in 2013.

“This is the fifth time I have been listed for this prize”, says Gomba while making a heartfelt acceptance speech. “ […] I thank the jury for counting Grit worthy of this prize. It’s a victory for Nigerian writers all over the world who, through creativity and resilience, have continued to thrive and redefine our country”, he added.

Dr. Obari Gomba - Afrocritik
Dr. Obari Gomba

Gomba will be awarded the grand prize of $100,000 sponsored by  NLNG.

(Read also: Strong Studios Announces TV Adaptation of South African Bestselling Crime Novel, “Piranha”)

Meanwhile, Nigerian novelist and scholar, Eyoh Asuquo Etim, emerged as the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism winner. Etim’s entry, “Herstory Versus History: A Motherist Rememory” in Akachi Ezeigbo’s The Last of the Strong Ones and Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, earned him the cash prize of $10,000.

Eyoh Asuquo Etim - Afrocritik
Eyoh Asuquo Etim

Also awarded the 2023 Nigerian Prize for Science is Hippolite Amadi, for his remarkable work towards advancing respiratory technology for newborns. Amadi, a professor of Medical Engineering and Technology at the Imperial College London, will take home a monetary reward of $100,000.

Nigeria Price for Literature - Afrocritik

Nigeria Price for Literature - Afrocritik

The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Literary Criticism, and Science is an annual award prize administered by an Advisory Board set up by Nigeria LNG Limited.

This year’s award ceremony was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites with the theme: Redefinition.

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