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NPL 2023’s finalists to be hosted by Rainbow Book Club P/Harcourt, Sept 17

‘Since a shortlist of 3 was announced on August 29th, the next port of call for the 2023 contenders for Africa’s most prestigious literary award is a literary soiree in Nigeria’s Garden City where the writers will be feted in a series of enchanting engagements with members of the city’s literary commune’

PORT Harcourt-based Rainbow Book Club has set up Sunday September 17 to host the three writers on the 2023 Nigeria Prize for Literature shortlist. the event would hold at the Hotel Presidential, with guests expected to be seated by 2pm.

These are Obari Gomba (Grit), Abideen Abolaji Ojomu (Ojuelegba Crossroads)  and Henry Akubuiro (Yamatarawala -The Warrior King).

The event is in partnership with the sponsors of the NPL, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

The long-awaited shortlist for Africa’s biggest literary prize was announced on August 29th 2023 by Andy Odeh- General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG).

A statement by the Rainbow Book Club, says that the theme of the event is: “Conversations in the Garden,” and it will  feature readings, reviews, dance-drama, prizes and dinner “in an atmosphere characterised by artistic excellence and high-level networking.”

Rainbow book Club is a leading literacy campaign organisation, initiators of the Garden City Literary Festival (renamed the Port Harcourt Book Festival). the organisation served as the Project Managers of the Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital in 2014.

The choice of Port Harcourt to host the final shortlists before an eventual winner is announced is strategic, given the pivotal role the Garden City plays in the Nigerian oil and gas sector,” said Koko Kalango, founder of the club.

“Last year when we hosted the finalist poets here, the atmosphere was phenomenal. As we gear up to give the 3 exceptional playwrights an unforgettable experience in their creative career, along with the hospitable people of Rivers State, we look forward to having these writers in Port Harcourt, home to NLNG, sponsors of the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature” Mrs. Kalango further stated.

On August 9th, at the Shell Zenith Bank Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos, a Book Party for the 11 longlists was held by the Committee for Relevant Art , CORA in collaboration with the NLNG.

Of the three, the panel of judges said ‘these plays stand tall in terms of dramatology, language, performance, story and structure’. Members of the Advisory Board for the $100,000 prize are Professor Ahmed Yerima, Prof. Olu Obafemi and chaired by Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo.

The NPL, which was instituted in 2004, rotates around four genres: prose, poetry, drama and children’s books. This year, the genre is drama. Out of a total of 143 entries, a longlist of 11 emerged on July 20th. On August 29th, a shortlist of 3 was announced.

The Rainbow Book Club (RBC) is a non-profit organization (NGO) that encourages reading for social development. RBC, a UNESCO club, is part of the Rainbow Foundation that successfully hosted the year-long UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 project in Port Harcourt, making it the first city in sub-Saharan Africa to win the prestigious literacy campaign award.




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