There is a need for the Nigerian society to create an enabling environment for the younger generation to explore their reading and creative abilities
This suggestion was made by the winner of the 2017 prize for Literature, sponsored by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Mr. Ikeogu Oke, when he featured on Radio link, a Radio Nigeria’s audience participatory program.
Mr. Oke who noted that reading and writing of books were a way of reflecting the society, stressed the need for aspiring writers not to be discouraged but persevere if indeed they had the passion and calling for writing.
Mr. Oke whose poetic work titled “ Heresay” won the 2017 NLNG prize for literature with the prize money of one hundred thousand dollars described the prize as a dream come true and also said that his winning came at the 7th attempt, adding that it took him twenty seven years to write the poem.
A member of the advisory board for the prize, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, Professor Ben Elugbe who announced that entry for this year’s literary prize has opened and that the category was in the genre of drama, emphasized the need for all entries to be original and creative, amongst other necessary qualities.
Professor Elugbe also stated that entry was open to all irrespective of status or level of education, expressed confidence in the credibility of other board members and those of the panel of judges as well as the excellence associated with the prize and process.
On his part, the General Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, NLNG, Mr. Tony Okenedo who disclosed that apart from the prize for literature there was prize for critical Essay writing, affirmed that the NLNG prize for literature had over the years impacted positively on the standard of writing, editing and publishing as well as reading and writing culture of Nigerians amongst many other contributions and achievements in the country’s education sector.
Some callers on radio link, Mr Nwaimo and Dr. Dike Oha from Enugu, State as well as Ada from Delta State who also confirmed that the NLNG had made tremendous contributions to the improvement of literacy among Nigerians also highlighted the need for the NLNG prize to be expanded to accommodate entries in Nigerian languages and the need for more encouraging infrastructure and opportunity for the teeming youths.
Other callers, Mr. Ibrahim from Abuja, Mr. Obinna and Mr. Ifeanyi from Imo State who commended the NLNG for encouraging and promoting literary culture in the country, suggested that other genres of arts such as theater arts practitioners, Music and other literary works be allowed to participate and compete for the prize as there were many talents out there waiting to be explored.
Meanwhile, as part of its efforts at promoting the reading culture among Nigerians, the NLNG has organized a book reading event on Sunday, 25th of March 2018, in Ikoyi, Lagos for the 2017 prize for literature winner, Mr. Ikeogu Oke alongside other notable authors.
Also the NLNG also hinted Radio Nigeria that plans were underway to hold similar reading events in Abuja and Port Harcourt .
Calls for 2018 NLNG Prize for Literature entry was publicized last month, urging interested participants to check www.nlng.com for details.