Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Obinna Udenwe, Abi Darè

The 2021 Nigeria Prize for Literature has revealed its finalists. They are Abi Darè for The Girl With the Louding Voice, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe for The Son of the House, and Obinna Udenwe for Colours of Hatred.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature is awarded to a Nigerian writer for a work in the genre featured for the given year. The  $100,000 prize makes it the richest prize in Africa. Previous winners include Chika Unigwe, Ikeogu Oke, and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim.

The shortlist was selected from an earlier announced longlist of 11 books. Two out of the three shortlisted novels are authored by debut women writers. Similarly, two out of the three books were published by a single local press Parresia Publishers. The three books in general uniformly centre on female characters navigating complex circumstances in modern day. (See book descriptions here ) The three books were also high on several prediction lists on social media leading up to the shortlist announcement.

The 2019 Prize went to Jude Idada for his children’s book Boom Boom.

The 2021 winner will be announced in October.

Congratulations to Abi Darè, Obinna Udenwe, and Cheluchi Onyemelukwe.