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Tade Ipadeola Wins the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature for His Poetry Collection The Sahara Testaments

The Sahara TestamentsAlert! Tade Ipadeola has won the 2013 Nigeria Prize for Literature for his book of poetry, The Sahara Testaments. The Prize is the biggest in Africa and Ipadeola will be taking home a whopping $100 000 USD.

He was shortlisted along with Nnadi Amu (Through the Window of a Sandcastle) and Ogochukwu Promise (Wild Letters) from a longlist of eleven titles.

Chika Unigwe took home the prize last year for her novel On Black Sisters Street.

Ipadeola is the President of PEN Nigeria Centre and published two poetry collections, A Time of Signs and The Rain Fardel, prior to writing The Sahara Testaments.

The announcement was made by Dr Udo Eresia-Eke, General Manager of External Relations at sponsor Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), reports Nehru Odeh from PM News. This sponsorship has not been without controversy as this article on Africa is a Country from last year shows.

Eresia-Eke said that the judges felt that “Ipadeola’s use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the blending of sound and sense. The work is replete with historical, geographical and literary allusions and tropes”.

Tade Ipadeola, poet, lawyer and author of The Sahara Testament, has won this year’s Nigeria Prize for Literature. The price is worth $100,000.

The winner of the 2013 prize was announced this morning by Dr Udo Eresia-Eke, the General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, at a world press conference held at Coral Hall, OceanView on Victoria Island, Lagos.

Read three of Ipadeola’s poems from The Sahara Testaments:


The fishwife in her wooden market stall
Tucks in a franc into her black brassiere,
Smiles as she hands over the fish. She is tall
Her teeth glisten whiter than the sassier
Neighbour’s, whiter than any woman’s, so white
I wondered if God knew she’d make it
Into a magnet for custom and light.

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