Ayodele Ibiyemi is winner of LABAF2019 Ken Saro Wiwa book review prize

Ayodele Ibiyemi has emerged winner of the annual Ken Saro Wiwa book review prize endowed by the Lagos Book and Arts festival (LABAF)

Ayodele led the pack of a shortlist of three which included Sarafadeen Bello  and Ofuonyeadi Chukwudumebi Mercy with his review of Tunde Leye’s Afonja: The Rise which was described by the judges, Uzo Maxim Uzoatu and Toni kan as “measured” and “coherent .”

Mr. Ibiyemi who was absent at the award ceremony was awarded a N100,000 cash prize.

The cheque was collected by Mrs Aribisala on behalf of the winner

See judges citation below:

“Why are reviews important?

They are important because they represent and provide for us the first critical engagement with a work of art, books, movies, music, plays etc.

Reviews in that sense are arbiters of taste helping shape opinion, excite conversation, and push engagement.

And it is for this that we must continue to give kudos to LABAF for encouraging this segment of our literary production.

After reviewing the pieces submitted for this year’s Ken Saro Wiwa prize in which contestants were asked to review any of three books, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, my fellow judge and I, quickly realized that one of them showed significant promise as the most impressive entry of the lot.

The tone is measured, the analysis is coherent and the grammatical elements come together. There are a few instances of inelegance but the overall feeling is of a budding critic that is well on his way.

We are awarding this prize to our preferred winner, firm in our belief that he will grow into a competent critic who will be a delight to read and engage with.

Our winner is Ayodele Ibiyemi for his review of Tunde Leye’s Afonja: The Rise.”

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