Obari Gomba, the acclaimed author of the compelling literary work ‘Grit’, has emerged as the winner of the prestigious 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature.
The literary prize, sponsored by Nigerian LNG Limited, awarded Gomba $100,000 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the field of literature.
Gomba’s ‘Grit’ triumphed over 143 other plays submitted for the competition, including notable works such as Abideen Abolaji Ojomu’s ‘The Ojuelegba Crossroads’ and Henry Akubuiro’s ‘Yamtarawala – The Warrior King’.
The award ceremony, held in Lagos, saw Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, chairperson of the advisory board for the prize, announce Gomba as the deserving recipient of this year’s coveted literary honor.
Describing ‘Grit’, Adimora-Ezeigbo lauded the play for its compelling portrayal of the destructive repercussions of power-driven politics on the human spirit.
“The play is filled with conflicts that create the mood of the inevitability of tragedy, and the language is full of twists that entertain in the midst of pain,” she remarked.
In addition to Gomba’s accolade, Eyoh Asuquo Etim’s “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” secured the prize for literary criticism, with a $10,000 reward.
Hippolite Amadi also received $100,000 for his groundbreaking work in the field of respiratory technologies, contributing significantly to the advancement of healthcare therapy for Nigerian newborns.
During the event, Philip Mshelbila, an esteemed figure associated with the prize, highlighted the underlying theme of ‘Re-definition’, emphasizing the urgent need for transformative change in Nigeria and globally.
He said: “Our bid for redefinition is further contextualised through the sponsorship of the Nigeria Prizes: the Nigeria Prize for Science, Literature, and Literary Criticism.
“This year, the theme of the science prize is Innovation for Enhancement of Healthcare Therapy.
“We need our people to be in their best form physically, mentally, and emotionally to tap into the wealth attainable through Nigeria’s reasoned potential.
“Likewise, the genre for the 2023 NLNG Prize for Literature is drama. As is apparent, drama has an adept way of communicating themes and messages for our deeper reflection.”
The Nigeria Prize for Literature, inaugurated in 2004 and sponsored by Nigerian LNG Limited, continues to serve as a platform for celebrating the nation’s rich literary heritage and promoting outstanding literary works.