Romeo Oriogun, poet and author of ‘Nomad’, a 67-poem collection that seeks to chronicle the travails of a bard’s restless spirit, has emerged winner of the 2022 NLNG $100,000 prize for literature.
Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, Chairperson of The Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by the Nigeria LNG, on Friday, made the announcement at the Grand Award Night ceremony held at Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos, themed “Touching the Stars”.
Oriogun trumped two other finalists – Su’eddie Vershima Agema (‘Memory and the Call of Water’) and Saddiq Dzukogi (‘Your Crib, My Qibla’) – to emerge winner of the highly-coveted prize.
According to the panel of judges headed by Professor Sule Emmanuel Egya, the winning book, ‘Nomad’, stands out as the most technically accomplished, rendering the topical subject of migration in a language laced with lyrical figurations.
They added that “the 67 poems in the collection were held together by a travel motif, marshalled in each poem with equal intensity, and linked to the African past, including the Middle Passage, and the African future.”
Reacting to his win, Oriogun wrote on his Twitter handle, “It feels so weird to be in this moment. I don’t know what to say other than I am grateful to the judges for finding “Nomad” worthy of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literature. I’m grateful to @SaddiqDzukogi & @Sueddieagema for this journey & for many more.”
Dr. Sakiru Adebayo, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, was also announced as the winner of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literary Criticism, which comes with One Million Naira (N1,000,000) prize money.
The 2022 edition of the Nigeria Prize for Literature had 287 poets compete for the $100,000 Prize.