Nigerian author Sylva Nze Ifedigbo has been announced as the winner of the 2022 Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature for his novel Believers and Hustlers.

Ifedigbo was awarded a cash prize of N1 Million for writing the best work of fiction by a Nigerian author in a calendar year. The prize, in its second year, was endowed by the Anambra State government in honor of legendary author Chinua Achebe, and administered by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).

The shortlist for the 2022 prize included Ifedigbo for Believers and Hustlers, Michael Afenfia for Rain Can Never Know, and Uwem Akpan for New York, My Village. The prize jury was made up of Razinat T. Mohammed, the Head of the Department of English at the University of Abuja, and James Tar Tsaaior, Professor of English, Media and Cultural Studies & Senior Associate Research Fellow at the University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Ifedigbo lives in Lagos and writes fiction, creative non-fiction, and sociopolitical commentaries. His previous works include My Mind Is No Longer Here (2018), The Funeral Did Not End (2012), and Whispering Aloud (2007). Ifedigbo was thrilled to win the 2022 Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature and took to Twitter to celebrate his win.

Read the description of Believers and Hustlers below:

Ifenna, a young journalist, takes the job of reporting on a popular megachurch in Lagos but veers off-script to investigate the death of a priest during the construction of the church. The article offends the young and powerful Pastor Nicholas, who runs the church, and Ifenna gets fired from his job. Down and out of luck, Ifenna becomes a blogger to expose the corruption and hypocrisy of the men of God, and his path crosses with Pastor Nicholas wife, Nkechi, who is investigating the misdeeds of her husband.

Congratulations to Ifedigbo! Buy Ifedigbo’s winning novel here.