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Chika Unigwe, Author of “On Black Sisters Street” wins the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature – Carts Away $100,000 Prize!



So excited to share this news! One of our favourite authors, Chika Unigwe, the author of “On Black Sisters Street” was today announced the winner of this year’s edition of Nigeria’s biggest prize for literature, the NLNG Prize for Literature.

She was announced winner of the literary award at a world press conference held at the Ocean View Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian-born author and she writes in English and Dutch. She has a Ph.D in Literature from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. She has published short fiction in several anthologies, journals and magazines including Wasafiri (University of London), Moving Worlds (University of Leeds), Per Contra, Voices of the University of Wisconsin and Okike of the University of Nigeria.

In 2003, she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2004, she won the BBC Short story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Competition award. In the same year, her short story made the top 10 of the Million Writers Award for best online fiction.

Her book made the final shortlist of 3. The other two entries were Only a Canvas by Olusola Olugbesan and Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Ngozi Achebe.

Chika, who lives in Turnhout, Belgium, with her husband and four children is the first foreign based Nigerian writer to win the NLNG prize which was hitherto reserved for locally based Nigerian writers.

The prize has a cash value of $100, 000.

Congratulations Chika!

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. IGBO KWENU!!!

    November 1, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    nigerian writers (and igbo writers in particular ) stay winning!!

    WELL DONE!!!

    • Lani

      November 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      A NIGERIAN did an amazing thing. What does it matter if she’s Ibo, Hausa or Yoruba?! She is a Nigerian. This constant need we have to point out tribes and sections is the very reason we are not moving forward as a country. She did an amazing thing. She would have done it even if she was born into another tribe!

    • anon

      November 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      why does tribe have to always play in, later we complain about racism!!!

    • habba!

      November 2, 2012 at 2:43 am

      Excuse ME but dint Wole Soyinka (Yoruba) win the Nobel prize in Literature? please go have a seat! i dont know why u had to bring tribe into this! multiple people from different tribes make their people proud

  2. Changing Faces

    November 1, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Wow nice….. Congrats girl

  3. Prof S.E. Atawodi

    November 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Congratulations Chika for this beautifulachievement

  4. Lani

    November 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Of course, you just haaaad to mention Igbo. I can bet you hardly read.
    Congrats Chika.

  5. Sbaby

    November 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Congratulations girl, keep the fire burning

  6. abimbola Dare

    November 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    WOW!!! Well done Chika! This is an awesome and wonderful achievement. To write a book is not an easy feat, let alone win such a prestigious prize. Well done !

  7. Blackknight

    November 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Thank God…There is still light at the end of the tunnel. I was almost giving up. Congrats my dear.
    Our country can only move forward if we have more YOU with substance, and less of those ikebe shaking yanshes that flood our TVs. More writers,scientists,doctors,pilots,engineers,erudite scholars, etc is what we want to compete effectively and stand among the nations,
    Ladies, stand up and be counted.

    • Idak

      November 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

      As long as there is a market for the Ikebe shaking, those products are going no where. Besides the middle class in naija pontificate a lot while patronising very little of real art works. Look around on the Island and see how bookshops are struggling to survive. See how the likes of Wole (Laspapi) struggle to fill a small hall with their exquisite and talent brimming plays and productions. Yet talentless ikebe shaking fellows (no need calling names) are filling auditoriums with ease.

  8. Toyin

    November 1, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Congratulations to her. It was well deserved

  9. Sommie™

    November 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Nice book. Read it last year. Congrats Chika. You surely deserve it. Expecting more ground-breaking publication(s) from you! But Chimamanda still remains my fav contemporary nigerian author 🙂

    • Klaire

      November 2, 2012 at 5:20 am

      Somme! Lol

  10. Beverly

    November 2, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I just put her book on hold at my library. I’ll probably get it next week.

  11. NNENNE

    November 2, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Same here Sommie! Congrats to Chika, though.

  12. Jane

    November 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Congrats Chika. Very well deserved. On Black Sisters’ Street is exquisitely written.
    @ Sommie and Nnenne, the sky is big enough for different birds.

  13. Lue

    November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am


  14. Idak

    November 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The two copies i arranged for two weeks back can;t come soon enough.
    A very big congrats to her. I was rooting for another author before the final short listing but ever since it was narrowed to 3, her book was my favourite of the three.
    Naija fiction writers are on the rise.

  15. theorgasticfuture

    November 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    On Black Sisters street? What a title. I’m suspicious of any book title with black in it. I’m not reading.

  16. Radiant

    November 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Good one!

    To make it easy for Nollywood, since writing is a challenge. The industry could work with literary writers and make the books into pictures.

  17. chika unigwe

    November 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you very much for your good wishes and messages of congratulations. I am, still, in shock but delighted, honoured, humbled by the win. I have read some of the books on the shortlist (and enjoyed them tremendously).

  18. Solomon Mkparu

    November 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I am proud you put my town [Osumenyi] on the literature ‘map’. You have also made Anambra state proud – a state that has [produced the] highest number of novelists [prose writers] from Nigeria; arguably, also a state with the most prolific writers. ”Count our writers name them one by one… and it will surprise you what they all have won ”: Prof Chinua Achebe, Prof Chukwuemeka Ike, Cyprian Ekwensi, Nkem Nwankwo, Ifeoma Okoye, Chimamanda Adichie, Dr Chika Unigwe,

  19. Jatropha

    November 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    WOW!I never knew all the guys are from Anambara.I am indeed proud of my State
    Anambara kwenu!

  20. Temitope Adewoye

    December 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Nice where can I get this book please?

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