Obari Gomba Emerges Winner Of PAWA’S Poetry Prize Competition 

Dr Obari Gomba of the University of Port Harcourt has been declared winner of the PAN African Writers Association (PAWA) Poetry competition (English Category).

Dr Obari’s ‘The Lilt of Rebel, was adjudged most insightful, thought provoking and inspiring by the team of five judges nominated for the English Category of the coveted prize.

The journey to the top of the heap of other renowned poets across the continent began in December, 2021 when the five judges on the panel reportedly received a pile of one hundred and six (106) entries chosen at random by the PAWA team out of which a large list of 15 books was announced on January 31, 2022.

According to the Judges’ report presented by Maureen Isaacson, from South Africa, a further assessment of the compilation of the entries resulted in five compelling collections which include: Echezonachukwu Nduka’s Chrysanthemum for Wide-eyed Ghosts; Tamure Ojaida’s A Poetic Diary of the Coronavirus Epidemic, Servio Gbadamosi’s Where The Light Enters You, Olumide Olaniyan’s Akimbo in Limbo and Obari Gomba’s The Lilt of the Rebel.

Out of these collections which subsequently went through further stringent process of assessment to ensure transparency, Obari Gomba’s poetry collection was finally adjudged the best.

Dr Obari’s collection was remarkably noted for its lyrical, angry and talks for resistance.

One reference point about the collections by the judges was the recurrence of several themes, germane to the experience of Africa’s exploitation, from within and outside the continent, extending from to colonialism to the corruption and venality of present African leaders as well as dealing with the ghosts of war that continue to haunt the present and their antithesis, natural beauty and love, in all its manifestations.

The five judges who were from diverse parts of the continent include Prof. Kwadwo Opuku-Agyemang (Ghana), John Rusimbi (Rwanda), Dr Idris Okpanachi (Nigeria), Lilian Aujo (Uganda) and Maureen Isaacson (South Africa).

Prize winner, Dr Obari Gomba is a TORCH Global South visiting professor at the university of Oxford. He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, and is currently the Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities. The Pan-African Poet Laureate, Obari Gomba, hails from Rivers State, Nigeria and has other numerous titles and awards in his kitty.

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