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Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Lola Shoneyin, Chika Unigwe, Jude Dibia & 6 More Authors Shortlisted for the $100,000 Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature



Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani & Lola Shoneyin

The panel of judges for the 2012 Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature has announced the initial shortlist of 10 authors who will now contest to win the $100,000 prize money.

The shortlisted authors include Ngozi Achebe (Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter), Ifeanyi Ajaegbo (Sarah House), Jude Dibia (Blackbird), Vincent Egbuson (Zhero), Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (I do not come to you by chance), Onuora Nzekwu (Troubled Dust), Olusola Olugbesan (Only a Canvas), Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives), E. E. Sule (Sterile Sky), and Chika Unigwe (On Black Sister’s Street).

Chika Unigwe & Jude Dibia

The Chairman, panel of judges for this year’s prize, Francis Abiola Irele, who is the provost of the College of Humanities at the Kwara State University and Fellow of the Dubois Institute, Harvard University noted that 214 entries were recieved for this year’s prize. This is the largest number of received entries since the prize was inaugurated in 2004.

The Nigeria LNG Prize rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2012 prize is for prose fiction. In 2008, the prize was won by Kaine Agary, author of Yellow Yellow. Jude Dibia came close to winning the prize in 2008 as he and Kaine Agary were the only two authors that made the final shortlist.

The Nigeria LNG prize is the largest African literary prize and one of the richest literary prizes in the world. The Prize was initially $20,000 each in Literature and Science. This was increased to $30,000 in 2006, and again to $50,000 in 2008. In 2011 the prize was increased to $100,000.

I can see the names of some of my favourite writers on that list and that makes me happy. What about you? What do you think about the shortlist? Who do you think will win the ultimate prize?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. The Kinkster

    September 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Wow! Some stiff competition up there. Some of my best reads of the last 2 years or so. one of these should take it though:

    1)Jude Dibia-Blackbird is a brilliant read
    2)Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani- Juggled a serious theme with such hilarity. great read
    3)Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives)- ANother really well written book. Dark and hilarious at the same time!

  2. Naijamum in L.

    September 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Best of luck to all but…
    My vote goes to Tricia. Her book ‘I do not come to you by chance’ is amazing and up-put-down-able

  3. artbecomesyou

    September 4, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    wow, I read Tricia Adaobi’s book. very good read. she deserves it.

  4. Miss Natural

    September 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Pretty good list! I especially loved Lola Shoneyin’s ‘The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives’. An excellent read it was! Another book I would have loved to see- ‘Imagine this’ by Sade Adeniran. That was simply beautiful! All in all its a pretty representative list.

    • Sabirah

      September 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      I agree “Imagine This” was amazing!


      September 5, 2012 at 2:25 am

      I’m sure Imagine this was on the list but didn’t make the shortlist. AMAZING BOOK!

      The judges know what they’re looking for.

      I’ve only read 3 of those books so can’t say.

    • The Kinkster

      September 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Next time they get to Prose/Fiction I hope to see Eghosa Imasuen’s “FINE BOYS” shortlisted. Brilliant book! Just got launched in Lagos but I read it months ago via kindle

    • Idak

      September 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      brilliant book indeed!!

  5. Sabirah

    September 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    On black sister’s street was really different and chilling! I’m glad that I’ve read most of the books on the list. really stiff competition though.
    So happy that this competition exists

  6. Toyin

    September 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Chika Unigwe ……..On Black Sister’s Street….

  7. Moyomoluwa

    September 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I do not come to you by chance is a book that describes Nigeria aptly.

  8. Brandigest

    September 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    I have read only 3 out of all of them. Chika Unigwe’s, Tricia’s and Lola’s. And out of the 3 Lola Shoneyin’s Secret lives of baba Segi’s wives is the best read. I pray she wins.

    • Idak

      September 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Same wish here.

  9. Uche

    September 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I loved blackbird! Hope Jude wins..Its an AMAZING read…wow!

  10. Nnenna

    September 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Where can I buy these books please?! Thanks! Good luck to all of them!


      September 5, 2012 at 2:23 am

      Palms Mall (Hub) Lagos, Quintessence and the one next door, Falomo Shopping Complex in Ikoyi (cheaper than Hub)
      Silverbird Bookstore (Abuja), White House bookstore (Wuse 2-down street from Amigo)

      Check the publisher’s websites for bookstores to get them at the cover value (Silverbird and Hub add jara)

      Or buy online if you’re not in Nigeria.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      September 5, 2012 at 5:06 am

      Amazon… you can get new or almost-new copies there (the second category is often sold by bookstores or libraries trying to clear out their stock to make room for new stock and priced significantly lower)

  11. aleesha

    September 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Chika Unigwe for the money!

  12. Truth be told

    September 5, 2012 at 1:20 am

    i loved i do not come to you by chance!

  13. Zya

    September 5, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Just found several on amazon, kindle..

  14. Online Nigeria

    September 5, 2012 at 5:24 am

    it’s really lovely to see nigerian writers. there are so many talented writers out there and this award definitely encourages many of them to come out and show the world what they have.

  15. Trendysturvs

    September 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

  16. ayetoro kan

    September 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

    i read jude dibias walking with shadows ansd i must say its a prose i cant get tired of ! will sure look out for black bird,secret lives of baba segis wives! wishing all the writers the best but im rooting for jude dibia

  17. The Kinkster

    September 5, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Next time they get to Prose/Fiction I hope to see Eghosa Imasuen’s “FINE BOYS” shortlisted. Brilliant book! Just got launched in Lagos but I read it months ago via kindle


    September 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    lola shoneyin for the money the secret lives of baba segi wives is the best book i have ever read apart from writing lola also writes poetry and organises monthly book reading in abuja INFUSION that woman, a mother, wife, activist and very beautiful (i love her dreads). and the warm bucket thing she does at infusion. LOLA SHONEYIN FOR THE PRICE……

    • Idak

      September 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Another reason why i want her to win is that hair of hers. I am that vain (even as a man). I have seen enough of these Brazilian, Spanish, Italian,French and Jamaican things called hair.

  19. nino

    September 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    i should read more….thanks for the comments now i know what books to look for…the secret lives of baba segi’s wives though…was a great great book…hilarious

  20. Ody

    September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    This is what i call real youth inspiring young people and not people who copy and paste other people’s work in the name of blogging.I’m so inspired.

  21. nma Nzerue

    September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    You guys need to check out Onaedo.The blacksmiths’s by Ngozi’s such an intelligent read.and to think it’s her First book.Bravo.I guess it kinda runs in the family.Adaobi Nwaubanis book I do not come to you by chance transported me to a planet I didn’t know existed .I couldn’t stop laughing and I made sure my husband read it too.he was happy he did.then the secret lives of baba Segis wives was an interesting read.I hardly put it down until I got to the last page.infact I wanted was an eye over 8yrs I have hardly read any book by a foreign author.I have read all the above mentioned books and if I were to decide I would give it to Ngozi Achebe.( Onaedo the blacksmiths daughter). You guys need to go out and get that book.

    • tee

      September 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Onaedo is good but Adaobi’s book is just tooooooo much. I have read it 8 times, she understands human psychology!

  22. marypoppins

    September 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    love i do not come to u by chance.

  23. Demmy

    September 7, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I have not read the other books, but I’ve read Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, which I believe is worthy of being on the list. For now I’ll try and get the other books; best of luck to all the shortlisted writers .

  24. Beeswax

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Àdaobi for the mula!!!!! I do not come to you by chance is an awesome piece.

  25. Obims

    September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I do not come to you by chance is it! Such a serious theme but displayed in a hilarious manner. I hope Adaobi Tricia wins the prize money

  26. Yemi Afolabi

    September 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I read Jude Dibia’s “walking with shadows” and i was tripped, then came his “Unbridled” and i was like this guy can tell a tale.. But “Blackbird” tops them all.. Brilliant story ladened wit sweet emotion… He deserves the prize big time

  27. Tosin

    April 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I thought y’all said Nigerians don’t read 🙂

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