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

Laila Lalami’s Forthcoming Memoir Conditional Citizens Recounts Her Journey from Moroccan Immigrant to U.S. Citizen

EORh13JU8AEElAk

Moroccan-American author Laila Lalami has a new book forthcoming on April 28, 2020 from Pantheon Books. Titled Conditional Citizens, the […]

Neighbors (A Quarantine-Themed Fiction) | E. C. Osondu

christian-stahl-8S96OpxSlvg-unsplash

My neighbor Vinny Capriani is a great neighbor. I’m happy to have him as one. I live in a state […]

Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim Longlisted for the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novel Award

Untitled design - 2020-03-25T235109.687

Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim are both on the longlist of the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novel Award. The annual […]

Credo Mutwa, Celebrated South African Healer and Author, Dies at 98

Untitled design (2)

Credo Mutwa, celebrated South African traditional healer and author of several books, died following a period of ill health on […]

What We Are Reading This Week | A Feminist Guide to Living and Thinking Sensuously

Untitled design - 2020-03-25T095936.723

In the final week of women’s history month, we are celebrating a writer whose work has inspired us for years. […]

Midas & The Prodigal Daughter | Isabelle Baafi | Two Poems

keila-hotzel-R8tIWN5616g-unsplash (1)

Midas the legend was not always true there was a time when empires were built on dreams and prophesies and […]

Thanks for signing up!

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

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.