Akor Agada Nathaniel is the winner of the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize (AJPP) 2021, awarded to the best poem from the combined top 10 entries of the bi-monthly Brigitte Poirson Poetry Contest (BPPC), from February to September 2021.
Akor, a first-runner-up in the 2020 edition of the AJPP, won the 2021 prize with his rhymed, socially critical poem, ‘THE WORLD MUST HAVE GONE MAD’. The poem beat METAMORPHOSIS by OLOWO QUDUS OPEYEMI and MELANIN GIRL by HUSSANI ABDULRAHIM to 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
Akor is a recent graduate of Economics. The prolific poet was born in Kaduna in the early 1990’s but grew up in Benue state. His winning poem was a finalist of the February/March 2021 edition of the BPPC.
THE WINNING POEM:
THE WORLD MUST HAVE GONE MAD by Akor Agada Nathaniel
The skin of depression still wears the sickness of devastation In an era of hybrid civilization erupting thick lavas of costly corruptions, Casting sullen shadows that often slap the sunshine of our proven traditions, With her costumes of pride radiating the cologne of sophistication. I am Akor Agada's ancestor laughing at the light of this age Whose carnage of damage has crumpled the curves of true courage, Like our mother’s tongue kowtowing before a strange language Where she once steered the ship of kings and sages. Gone are those good old days of legendary folklores Gotten from sojourners whose feet bore the stings of blistered sores, Thanks to today's technology that triggers those torments blinding our sights with gores And ships young descendants of our late ancestors to distant shores. Today's fashion of social realities is decayed flesh for vultures. The spirit of our fathers has long lost its flavours To the glamorous razzmatazz of other so called saviours Whose followers long for like some sweet smelling savours. All I have seen is enough reason to make me sad. It is gobsmacking how yesterday’s taboo now makes many glad. Not everything is good for food, but when the good becomes bad, Then the world must have indeed gone mad.
Akor was awarded N20,000 in cash prize, a Gold Chapbook publishing package from Authoropedia and a one-year 20% discount on all Authorpedia Publishing services and, alongside the AJPP runner-ups, a Certificate of Award and a copy of the BPPC 2018 anthology. He joins Osadolor Williams Osayande (2020), Emmanuel Faith (2019), Aire Joshua Omotayo (2018), Ogwiji Ehi-kowochio Blessing (2017) and Kanyinsola Olorunnisola in the AJPP Hall of Fame.
The AJPP is an annual poetry award instituted in 2014 by Words Rhymes & Rhythm in honor of late Fr. Albert Jungers (1948 – 2013), a Priest, Poet, and Teacher. Fr. Al, as he was fondly called until his death, was an instructor and dear ‘father’ to young Nigerian poets. He brought different poetry forms to life with simple instructions.