Romeo Oriogun wins Nigeria Prize for Literature 2022 worth $100,000 with “Nomad”

Romeo Oriogun has emerged winner of this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited worth $100,000.

The Chair of the Advisory Board of the prize, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo, made the announcement today, October 14 at the award presentation ceremony for both the Nigeria Prize for Science and the Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2022, at Eko Hotels in Lagos.

He beat the other two shortlisted contenders, Su’eddie Vershima Agema (Memory and the Call of Water) and Saddiq Dzukogi (Your Crib, My Qibla).

Nomad has a fresh language and a nostalgic engagement with the themes of exile and displacement,

Memory and the Call of Water, on the other hand, is a collection that consistently uses memory to reflect on life and destiny through the metaphor of water, while Your Crib, My Qibla translates tragedy into lyrical poetry with pathos and effortless imagery.

Oriogun is a poet and essayist who won the 2017 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, a finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and The Future Awards African Prize for Literature. An alumnus of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, his poems have appeared in numerous publications.

The panel of judges include Sule Emmanuel Egya, who is the Chairman of the panel and a professor of African Literature and Cultural Studies at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State. 

Other judges are Toyin Adewale-Gabriel and Dike Chukwumerije. Adewale-Gabriel is a poet and fiction writer. Dike Chukwumerije is a spoken word and performance poet, and an award-winning author. 

Professor Susan Nalugwa Kiguli is the International Consultant to the Advisory Board for this year’s prize. A Ugandan poet and literary scholar, she is an associate professor of literature at Makerere University. Professor Kiguli has served as a judge for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (African Region, 1999), and an advisory board member for the African Writers Trust.

Other members of the Advisory Board are Professor Olu Obafemi and Professor Ahmed Yerima.

Sakiru Adebayo won the Literary Criticism award for 2022. For, Professor Adimora-Ezeigbo, said, “demonstrated industry and deserves the award”.

Adebayo was thankful to the Nigeria LNG Limited for sponsoring the prize.

He takes home $10,000 for his effort.

Also presented with their prize at the ceremony were Sesan Peter Ayodeji, a professor of Machine and Process Design and Applied Ergonomics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, and his Research Associate, Emmanuel Olatunji Olatomilola, who were earlier named joint winners of the 2022 edition of the Nigeria Prize for Science, alongside Muhyideen Oyekunle, a maize breeder and lecturer at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU).

Prof. Barth Nnaji, a former Minister of Power and Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the prize made the presentation at the event.

The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature.  

A total of 287 books were entered for the competition, which is focused on poetry this year. 

The Nigeria Prizes for Literature, Science and Literary Criticism sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited, are annual prizes established to recognise and reward excellent works in literature and science.


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