by Ifreke Inyang
Mai Nasara, the author of the ‘Missing Clock’ has been declared the winner of this year’s NLNG Literature prize. Real name Adeleke Adeyemi, Mai Nasara beats fellow finalists, Ayodele Olofintuade and Chinyere Obi-Obasi to the top prize. Adeyemi was announced as the winner at a World Press Conference held at the Eko Hotel and Suites today, Monday 10 October 2011.
In the words of the judges, “Mai is a gifted story teller. He explores the consciousness, emotions and actions of a child in a fascinating narrative distinguished by the simplicity of its themes, ideas, language and style. Indeed, this is a loveable and credible novel that endorses family cohesion and responsible parenting that would guide children to become imaginative, well-motivated and balanced individuals.”
Ever since NLNG announced Ayodele Olofintuade (Eno’s Story), Mai Nasara (The Missing Clock) and Chinyere Obi-Obasi (The Great Fall) as the three finalists, there has been speculations about who will win the $100,000 at stake. Eventually, after exhaustive discussion on each of the three entries, the judges decided the prize should go to Mai Nasara, which is actually a pen name for Adeleke Adeyemi.
The Nigerian Prize for Literature started in 2004 and is an annual literary competition organized by one of the top gas company, Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas, NLNG. The prize rotates yearly amongst four literary genres which are: prose fiction, poetry, drama & children’s literature. The competition is open only to published works and bestows public recognition and a monetary award of $100, 000 on the winner.