Group Organises 3rd Edition of Yoruba Literature Prize, Launches Documentary for Late Publisher

Group Organises 3rd Edition of Yoruba Literature Prize, Launches Documentary for Late Publisher

  • Total prize money of N550,000 was won as the 3rd Yoruba Literature Prize drew to a memorable close
  • The epoch-making event is the brainchild of the Atelewo Cultural Initiative and was graced by notable Yoruba literary personalities
  • Four persons were awarded from a keenly contested literary initiative that received over 24 entries

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Babatunde Shittu has emerged as the 2023 winner of the annual Atelewo Prize for Yoruba Literature.

Babatunde clinched the top prize winner for his entry in the drama category titled "Láàdì" and was given a cash reward of N250,000 at the award ceremony held at the BNI Youth Centre, University of Ibadan on Saturday, April 1.

Atelewo Cultural Initiative, Babatunde Shittu, Yoruba Literature Prize
Atelewo Cultural Initiative organised the Yoruba Literature Prize. Photo Credit: Atelewo Cultural Initiative
Source: UGC

Other runners-up include Álímì-Adéníran Ọmọ́șaléwá for her entry in the translation category titled "Àwọn Obìnrin Òwu", Rasheed Malik Adeniyi for his entry in the prose category titled "Nǹkán Yan" and Jimoh Lateef Adérójú for his entry in the poetry category titled "Àròfọ̀ Àsìkò".

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Notably, the five finalists received an award alongside their cash prizes.

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According to the co-founder of the Initiative, Ibrahim Oredola, there were 25 entries.

An excerpt from a press statement made available to reads:

"Out of the twenty-five manuscripts received, the judges longlisted eight entries and later narrowed it down to 4 eventual winners. The works submitted are great and inspiring. And it is a testament to the resilience of Yoruba scholarship and literature culture amongst young people."

The 3rd edition of the Yoruba Literature Prize was a hit

The annual Atelewo Prize for Yoruba Literature was graced by notable personalities, namely Iskil Mustapha Arojinle, a Yoruba content creator and an On-Air Personality at Fresh FM; Bode Oje, a renowned Yoruba science fiction author and the author of "Irinajo Sinu Ayedimeji" and Chief Fatai Oodua Lalude, a veteran theatre practitioner.

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In a press statement, Oredola also said the initiative was born out of the desire to help revive the old, vibrant and rich Yorùbá literary culture.

His words:

"We launched the Prize in 2020 with the objective for it to help rejuvenate the more-than-the-century-old, vibrant, universally praised, and unquestionably rich Yorùbá literary culture. And I am happy, we are three years strong and going.
"We would not have been able to sustain this Prize so far without the support of some of our stakeholders like Prof. Adeleke Adeeko, Mr Oladele Onile-Ere, Mrs Funmi Brady, Mr Oye Olatoye, and other fantastic individuals and organisations who are very passionate about the promotion of Yoruba language and culture."

At the award ceremony, a documentary in honour of the recently deceased Gabriel Omotayo Onibonoje, a renowned publisher, author and industrialist, was launched as plans get in motion for the 4th edition, which promises to be bigger and better.

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History of Oduduwa in Yorubaland

Meanwhile, previously reported about the fascinating history of Oduduwa in Yorubaland.

Yoruba people are predominant in the southwestern part of Nigeria. They can also be found in Togo and Benin.

Due to rural-urban migration, people from this community are also found in different parts of the country and the world. This ethnic group believed in various gods and goddesses in the traditional set-up.

The belief in these gods may have changed due to the introduction of other religions during the colonial period. A retrospective look at the community's history shows that Oduduwa was instrumental.


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