Tanure Ojaide, the Frank Graham Porter Professor of Africana Studies, is co-recipient of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.
Awarded by the Lumina Foundation, the Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is a pan-African writing prize given biennially to the best literary work produced by an African. Soyinka, who presented the honor at a gala in Lagos, Nigeria, is a Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honored in that category.
Ojaide was recognized for “Songs of Myself.” Publishers describe the work as “deeply rooted in the indigenous African poetic tradition. The great Udje poets first composed songs paying tribute to the god of songs, followed by songs of self-exhortation and then songs mocking themselves before satirizing others.” The four parts of the collection are: “Pulling the Thread of the Loom,” “Songs of Myself,” “Songs of the Homeland Warrior” and “Secret Love and Other Poems.”
Ugandan Harriet Anena was co-recipient of the 2018 Soyinka Prize; she was honored for “A Nation in Labour.”
She and Ojaide each received a $10,000 cash prize, medal and trophy.
Photo: Wole Soyinka, center, with this year’s recipients of the Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa Harriet Anena and Tanure Ojaide.