DAVID CHIMEREMEZE OKAFOR is the winner of the 2019 edition of the annual Eriata Oribhabor Poetry Prize (EOPP). The prize awards a N50,000 cash prize to the top three submissions.
The judges – Iquo Dianaabasi and Ifeanyichukwu Peter Eze – selected Okafor’s poem ‘EXORCISM’ from one hundred and twenty-two approved entries (122) in two rounds of judging.
In second place was ‘IN BOMBS & PRAYERS’ by Nnadi Samuel while ‘UNFINISHED DRAFT OF HAUWA LIMAN’S HUMANITARIAN WORK’ by Ojo Taiye finished as second runner-up.
Okafor describes himself as “a self-styled reporter of the human condition” and poetry is his most preferred medium of storytelling. He will get the top prize: ₦25,000.
Runner-up, Samuel and Taiye, will receive ₦15,000 and ₦10,000. The top three poets will also receive books by Eriata Oribhabor and certificates of recognition.
EOPP 2019 received poems on the themes of Unity, Truth, Justice, Change and Sustainable Development in society, with a focus on Nigeria – her people, cultures, experiences, hopes, and aspirations. It is the ninth edition since Words Rhymes & Rhythm Publishers instituted the prize to reward young Nigerian poets in 2012.
Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto won the 2018 edition of the prize with Dipe Jolaade and University and Nome Emeka Patrick as runner-up.
The ERIATA ORIBHABOR POETRY PRIZE (EOPP) is an annual literary prize instituted in November 2012 to give the much-needed attention Nigerian poetry deserves and encourage young Nigerian poets to use poetry as a tool for social change. The Prize finds its purpose in the belief that poetry and the arts are agents of social change that must be routinely encouraged.
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