Chika Unigwe, the author of “On Black Sisters Street” was yesterday announced the winner of this year’s edition of Nigeria’s biggest prize for literature, the NLNG Prize for Literature. Chika was announced winner of the literary award at a world press conference held at the Ocean View Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian-born author and she writes in English and Dutch. She has a Ph.D in Literature from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. She has published short fiction in several anthologies, journals and magazines including Wasafiri (University of London), Moving Worlds (University of Leeds), Per Contra, Voices of the University of Wisconsin and Okike of the University of Nigeria.
In 2003, she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2004, she won the BBC Short story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Competition award. In the same year, her short story made the top 10 of the Million Writers Award for best online fiction. Her book made the final shortlist of 3. The other two entries were Only a Canvas by Olusola Olugbesan and Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter by Ngozi Achebe. Chika, who lives in Turnhout, Belgium, with her husband and four children is the first foreign based Nigerian writer to win the NLNG prize which was hitherto reserved for locally based Nigerian writers. The prize comes with a cash value of $100, 000.
Other shortlisted books include Sarah House by Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, Black Bird by Jude Dibia, Zhero by Vincent Egbuson, I do not come to you by chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Troubled Dust by Onuora Nzekwu, The Secret Lies of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin, and Sterile Sky by E. E. Sule.