Okwubi Godwin Adah has emerged the overall winner of the Poets in Nigeria (PIN) 2020 Nigerian Students Poetry Prize announced at an award ceremony at Virgin Rose Resorts, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Okwubi Godwin Adah, a 400-level student of Anatomy, University of Benin, won the first prize with his poem titled ‘The House That Built Me’.
Samson Abanni, a 600-level student of Medicine and Surgery, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki finished second with his poem titled ‘Nonso’.
Biachi Ndidi, a 400-level student of English and Literary Studies at Benue State University, Makurdi finished third with the poem ‘We Bear Sadness in Our Name’.
The NSPP received 540 poems from students representing 85 tertiary institutions including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, schools of nursing, seminary schools and Nigeria Police Academy.
A 4-man judging panel, including Dr. Amanze Akpuda (Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Abia State University, Uturu, Abia), Dr. Santosh Bakaya (poet, novelist and winner of the International Reuel Award), Gbenga Adeoba (author of ‘Exodus’ and winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize) and Naseeba Babale (poet and literary administrator) reviewed the entries to select the top 60 poems for inclusion in the NSPP 2020 anthology.
“In its fifth year, the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize continues in that vital work of spotlighting new and not-so-new poets. The poems collected in the NSPP anthology map a world that is at once strange and familiar, yet what binds them is a quest to lead us back to ourselves.”
University of Benin, which had the highest number of selected entrants on the shortlist and top five, emerged as the top-performing school.The prize winners were awarded a total cash prize of ₦500,000 while the consolation prize winners – Gimbiya Galadima from University of Benin (4th best entrant), Uchechukwu Ezenwa-Ohaeto from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (5th best entrant) and Ndipmong-uwem Dickson Isaiah from University of Uyo (5th best entrant) – shared a total sum of ₦50,000.
The NSPP was instituted in 2016 to stimulate literary creativity among Nigerian students.
Noah Oladele (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), Bakre Fadil Adedamola (University of Ibadan), Godstime Iberiyenari Tamunofiri (Niger Delta University) and Ogugua Micah Okoye (Enugu State University of Science and Technology) won the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of the Prize respectively.