The winners of the N300,000 worth Words Rhymes & Rhythm GREEN AUTHORS PRIZE 2016 (GAP 2016) for young, unpublished Nigerian poets resident in the country have been announced. The winners are Hussani Abdulrahim, Siraj Abdulazeez Sabuke, Joseph Ofejiro Bilabi and Mesioye Johnson.
The quartet, who were selected by from nearly a hundred submissions by a panel of judges, made up of four respected writers, will share a publishing contract worth N300,000 in form of a co-authored collection of poems to be published by Words Rhymes & Rhythm Publishers.
HUSSANI ABDULRAHIM is a 21-year-old writer from Kaduna state. He is presently a student of Pure Chemistry at the Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. Inspired by the works of the late Chinua Achebe, Gabriel Okara, Oswald Mitshali, and a host of others, Hussaini has written a host of poems and short stories.
He is really passionate about poetry and literature as a whole.
He represents ZONE 1 (Benue State, Nasarawa State, Niger State, Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna State, Taraba State, Gombe State, and Plateau State).
SIRAJ ABDULAZEEZ SABUKE is 24-year-old poem from Kebbi state. He is a student of English Language at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He became interested in Literature and the Fine Arts from his Junior Secondary School days.
He is influenced by many writers including Niyi Osundare, Abubakar Gimba, Laura M Kamiski and B. M. Dzukogi who ignited his interest in writing short stories and poetry. Sabuke sees writing as a life that must be lived. He presently lives in New-Bussa, Niger state.
He represents ZONE 2 (Adamawa State, Bauchi State, Borno State, Yobe State, Jigawa State, Kano State, Katsina State, Kebbi State, Sokoto State and Zamfara State).
JOSEPH OFEJIRO BILABI is a 23-year-old poet from Usiefrun in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta state. He is a student of English and literature at the University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria. Bilabi has many unpublished works of poetry and fiction and is currently at work on his debut novel. He lives in Ughelli where he writes.
He represents ZONE 3 (Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State, Imo State, Akwa-Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross-River State, Delta State, Edo State, and Rivers State) and
MESIOYE JOHNSON is a 23-year-old writer from Ogun state. He is final year student of Banking and Finance at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. He won the April 2016 edition of the WRR-backed BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST and was in the top 10 of three other editions. He was also on the shortlist of the TONY FERNANDEZ POETRY CONTEST in 2014.
He represents ZONE 4 (Ekiti State, Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, and Oyo State, Kogi State, Kwara State).
The GREEN AUTHOR PRIZE, now in its second year, was initiated in 2015 by WRR CEO, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, as a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the company, to give upcoming writers, who have been limited by the prohibitive cost of publishing in Nigeria, a chance to get published. It is the only book prize for poetry in Nigeria.
Words Rhymes & Rhythm (WRR) is a leading publishing, and educational institution that promotes Nigerian literature through youth-targeted initiatives.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.