Obinna Udenwe wins The Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature 2021

The co-founder of The Village Square Journal, Obinna Udenwe was on Saturday November 6th, 2021 announced the winner of the first ever Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature.

The Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature was instituted in 2021 to serve as a platform for the immortalization of the late giant of literature, the legend, Prof. Chinua Achebe. The Prize warehoused at the Association of Nigerian Authors – the largest body of writers in Africa, and worth (N1,000,000) One Million Naira, is aimed at discovering and honouring a writer whose book, within a given year, excellently delivers on the standards of storytelling, providing social, cultural and political relevance.

Obinna Udenwe was announced winner for his book, Colours of Hatred, published in 2020 by Parresia Publishers.

Colours of Hatred which has been described as a witty work of fiction is a family saga set against the background of the Sudanese civil war. The book tells the story of a Nigerian family who escaped death in Sudan only to face events in Nigeria that led to their downfall, and has been described by critics and reviewers as a success in bridging the gap between the literary and thriller forms of fiction writing – a difficult genre in literature.

Colours of Hatred was also recently a finalist for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, one of the richest literary prizes in the world, at $100, 000.  

Obinna Udenwe is known for his extraordinary works that keep the readers glued when reading. His book, Satans and Shaitans which was published in the United Kingdom by Jacaranda Books in 2014 set him apart from his peers. The book, set against the backdrop of the ongoing terrorist tension in Nigeria explored the theme of power. Satans & Shaitans was highly received globally and emerged the winner of the ANA Prize for Prose Fiction in 2015.

As if his winning The Chinua Achebe Prize for Literature was envisioned, in 2020 when Obinna emerged a finalist in the Praire Schooner-Raz Shumakar Prize of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, the judges led by Kyle Jones described Obinna Udenwe’s literary craft as a reminder of the eloquence of Chinua Achebe. In February of 2020, he became the winner of the Prairie Schooner – Glenna Luchei Prize in the United States and in October 2021, a film titled “Emilia” based on his short story “It Has to do with Emilia” was produced in South Africa by Bridget Pickering at Bump Films.