by Hauwa Gambo
The 2011 winner for the Nigeria Prize for Literature Adeleke Adeyemi (pen name, Mai Nasara) returns to the country on Saturday February 3 after a brief sojourn in the United States. The now popular author won the prestigious Nigeria LNG-endowed award for his children’s novel ‘The Missing Clock’ in August.
Mai Nasara returns as guest of honour at the public presentation of the winner of the prize, organised by the Nigeria LNG. The event holds at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos – and will be attended by leading lights of Nigerian literature, including the “father” of modern-day Nigerian poetry Gabriel Okara and Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka.
“Obviously I am delighted to be coming back home to engage with the public and the literary community,” Nasara said. “And I thank the Nigeria LNG for this honour and for this platform. I am looking forward to getting home on Saturday and discussing the prize and the book on Monday. This is a humbling experience for me.”
Starting from 126 submissions from Nigerian authors of children’s literature, ‘The Missing Clock’ made the shortlist, eventually beating an intimidating six of some of the best children’s authors in Africa. This shortlist included Ayodele Olofintuade and Chinyere Obi Obasi, and Nasara won the coveted $100, 000 cash prize.
The novel explores the reversal of fortunes for a Nigerian family and how they grew to overcome their circumstances. In an earlier interview, the author explained that he was inspired by the concept of a conservative traditional family. The author admonished families to work on their personal and family histories as the first step towards changing the world.
The Nigeria Prize for Literature is rated the 22nd most valuable in the world. It is endowed by the Nigeria LNG, which also awards the Nigeria Prize for Science annually.
The event will be shown on Monday on NTA and AIT and will also be streamed online via www.nlnglive.com at 10am.