Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

The Nigerian social critic Ikhide R. Ikheloa and the legal professional Anthony Omokhodion have paid the N100,000 owed 18-year-old secondary school student Ernest O. Ògúnyemí by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Ògúnyemí notified Brittle Paper of the development.

On Sunday, 26 May, eight months after he was announced winner of the the Association of Nigerian Authors NECO/Teen Prize for Prose, Ògúnyemí revealed on Twitter that he had not yet been paid, and that in the months of his requests the ANA president Denja Abdullahi had told him, “We don’t have the money,” and afterwards, “You are very rude. Never call me again.”

In a statement on Facebook, Denja Abdullahi had explained that the problem was because of the delay by the National Examination Council (NECO) in redeeming their sponsorship pledge, and then went on to “request Ernest Ogunyemi to go tender an apology to the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) on twitter where he took the matter to or risk his prize sum being withheld until NECO pays up accordingly.”

Ògúnyemí has since written about his experience on This Is Lagos.

Here is Ikhide Ikheloa’s tweet about the payment.

“Anthony Omokhodion and I are patrons of the arts and we were appalled by the conduct of the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Authors, and upset by the young writer’s ordeal,” Ikhide R. Ikheloa told Brittle Paper in a statement on Facebook. “We are not talking about a whole lot of money, so that part was easy to do; we did want to shine a light on the toxic environment that young creatives endure in Nigeria. There is a total lack of accountability.”

He continued: “It is interesting that Mr. Denja Abdullahi, the president of ANA, was able to attend an expensive literary conference in the United States this month, but was unwilling to pay a writer what he had duly won. There is no transparency; who paid for his trip to the US?”

Asked if the payment is intended to take the place of the ANA’s obligation, Ikheloa said: “We have no interest in what ANA decides to do regarding what was owed Mr. Ogunyemi, we are just glad that technology enables us to create a warm environment and platform for aspiring writers. We salute him for his courage and eloquence in advocating for himself. Denja Abdullahi should have resigned over this disgraceful matter and not doing so will impair the effective capacity of ANA.”

We thank Ikhide R. Ikheloa and Anthony Omokhodion for their intervention.

Tags: , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Kwame Dawes’s “Yard Boy”: A Powerful Poem for Our Moment

153602001522332304

Kwame Dawes recently wrote a poem titled “Yard Boy” that speaks to the recent events surrounding the death of George […]

Teju Cole’s Spotify Playlists Offer Musical Solace for These Times

PoliticsAndMore-021819-TejuCole

Among Teju Cole’s many talents is his ability to curate music that captures a mood or even the feel of […]

Petina Gappah to Write Play About the Censorship History of Dambudzo Marechera’s Novel Black Sunlight

Untitled design

Petina Gappah recently announced that she was writing a play that focuses on “the 1982 banning and unbanning” of Dambudzo […]

Oh, Blessed Bri’Land | Jedah Mayberry | Fiction

fiction brittle paper Jedah Mayberry

Bri’Land glistened at me, her brilliant display of pink sand shimmering in delight.  It would seem that I had finally, […]

Books That Go with Wine and Books That Don’t

literary lifestyle wine and books

The beverages most associated with reading are tea and coffee. But many readers love to cozy up in bed with […]

In This House | Inok Rosemary | Poetry

poetry brittle paper inok rosemary

  In this house, we sift our words, Never letting the walls hear what they shouldn’t. The fear of their […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.