Nigeria’s Committee for Relevant Arts to award N100,000 for best review of Ken Saro Wiwa’s works


Ken Saro Wiwa, one of nine Ogoni community activists executed after an unfair trial in 1995.

Nigerian writers between the ages of 18 and 41 stand a chance of winning N100,000 prize money if their reviews of any one of the five works of late writer and environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, is adjudged the best by the organisers of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF).

The Lagos Book and Art festival will kick off on November 13.

A statement by Toyin Akinosho, general secretary, Committee for Relevant Arts, organisers of LABAF, said the competition is opened to “those who were either not born, or were just teenagers or at most aged 21, at the time of the death of this Nigerian literary icon”.

Writers are expectred to submit a review of not more than 1,000 words of either Sozaboy, A Forest of Flowers, Adaku and other Stories, Prisoners of Jebs, or a joint review of Basi and Company and Transistor Radio on or before 5pm on November 6, 2015.

Writers are to submit their entries for the prize to the Chairman of the panel of Judges, Toni Kan (author of the Nights of the Creaking Bed).

Entries should be typewritten and sent to, organisers say.

“The competition does three things, it serves to improve on the human infrastructure of reading; there cannot be a robust literary/literacy subculture, or a book market, without a vibrant review culture. The grounds on which conversations of culture stands, in the Nigerian arts landscape today, is shaky,” says Jahman Anikulapo, Programme Chairman of the Committee For Relevant Art(CORA).

“It also helps to memorialise Mr Saro Wiwa, to whom the theme of this year’s edition of the Festival is dedicated and finally, it is the foundation of CORA/LABAF Annual Literature Review contest.

“So much effort has been paid, by sundry sponsors, to writers of books and less to the infrastructure of reading. CORA fancies itself as a landscapist and as we have pioneered the idea of Book Festivals with progra-mme content, as opposed to book fairs in the country, we also want to sow seeds in the area of getting whole communities, as opposed to writers alone, to share in the joy of reading,” Mr Anikulapo added.




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