Okoye, Okpara, Ogwiji win NSPP 2019

Poets in Nigeria (PIN) has announced Ogugua Micah Okoye, Okpara Ugochukwu Damian and Ehi-Kowochio Ogwiji as winners of the fourth edition of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize (NSPP) at an awards ceremony which held on Saturday 6th July at Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Wilberforce Island, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, Moderator of NSPP 2019 explained in a statement that closing the submissions on 18th March, 2019, the Prize received 504 poems from students representing 96 tertiary institutions including Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Schools of Nursing and Seminary Schools.

Ogugua, a 300-level student of Applied Biochemistry, Enugu State University of Science and Technology clinched the first prize with his poem entitled “Micah” while Okpara, a 400-level student of Anatomy, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli came 2nd with his poem entitled “Suicide Warning Signs”. “An Artefact of a Groin War” authored by Ogwiji, a 500-level student of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development at the University of Ibadan won the 3rd prize.

A 5-man judging panel, including Mallam Al-Bishak (a professor of English Literature, Federal University, Lafia), Professor Hülya N Yılmaz (a retired Liberal Arts Professor, Pennsylvania State University, USA), Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (Winner, GTB Dusty Manuscript Prize, 2018), Dr. Obari Gomba (award-winning poet and lecturer at University of Port Harcourt) and Gbenga Adesina (Winner, Brunel African Poetry Prize, 2016) reviewed the entries to select the top 100 poems for inclusion in the NSPP 2019 anthology.

University of Ibadan, which had the highest number of entrants, emerged as the best participating school. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli had the highest number of entrants on the longlist and was acknowledged with a trophy as the top-perfoming institution.

The prize winners have been awarded a total cash prize of N300,000 while the consolation prize winners for 4th and 5th placed entrants, Anuoluwa Olusegun Soneye from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and Ibelachi Franklyn Chinedu from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Uli will receive N20,000 each.
As sponsors of the NSPP 2019 Awards, Niger Delta University was also awarded a trophy recognizing their immense contributions to the success of the Prize.

The NSPP was instituted in 2016 to stimulate literary creativity among Nigerian students. Noah Oladele from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Bakre Fadil Adedamola from University of Ibadan and Godstime Iberiyenari Tamunofiri from Niger Delta University won the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the Prize respectively.