10 October 2013, Lagos – A poet and lawyer, Tade Ipadeola, has emerged winner of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Prize for Literature 2013 for his collection of poems, ‘The Sahara Testament’.
Announcing his choice Wednesday in Lagos, NLNG General Manager, Dr. Udo Eresia-Eke, praised the poet’s work, describing it as ‘’encompassing vast stores of knowledge in an encyclopaedic dimension.’’
According to the judges, led by Professor Romanus Egudu, ‘’Ipadeola’s use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the blending of sound and sense.”
With prize money of $100,000, the NLNG prize is regarded as one of the biggest literary awards in Africa and also a very important way to encourage literary efforts in Nigeria.
The prize, which is awarded annually, is being rotated among the four literary genres of prose fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature. This year’s award was for poetry.
In winning the award, Ipadeola had faced stiff competition from two other shortlisted works of poetry that included Ogochukwu Promise’s ‘Wild Letters’ and Chidi Amu Nnadi’s ‘Through the Window of a Sandcastle.’
A visibly excited Ipadeola after hearing his name announced as the winner of this year’s prize, said: “This is joyful news. This is the biggest prize in Africa and it is surreal. I am grateful.”
Ipadeola, who lives in Ibadan, has authored three volumes of poetry along with other published short stories and essays.
– By Solomon Elusoji, This Day