In a consecutive occurrence, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe would be going up against Obinna Udenwe for a literary prize. The duo were recently announced finalists for the inaugural Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature for their novels The Son of the House and Colours of Hatred respectively. They are joined by Chukwudi Eze for The Return of Half Something.

In its first year, the Chinua Achebe Prize For Literature is endowed by the Anambra State government in honour of legendary author Chinua Achebe, who was born in the state. It awards a cash prize of N1 Million to the best work of fiction by a Nigerian in a calendar year. The prize is administered by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe’s The Son of the House, a glorious debut, explores themes of female friendship and women empowerment in the Nigerian context. Among many honors, the novel was recently announced the winner of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, which also had Udenwe’s Colours of Hatred, a page-turning family saga, as finalist.

Chukwudi Eze’s The Return of Half-Something engages themes of crisis of identity, through the lens of a young man who believes his destiny lies in his African ancestral homeland.

Both Onyemelukwe and Udenwe expressed delight on being shortlisted for the prize. Onyemelukwe said it was an “honour to be connected, however remotely, to Achebe.” Udenwe urged readers to buy the books on the shortlist as a way of support.

A winner will be announced in due course.

Congratulations to the writers!