Obari Gomba, a professor of English at the University of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, has received the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA) poetry prize for 2022 with his collection The Lilt Of The Rebel.
On March 3, 2022, The Lilt Of The Rebel was proclaimed as the winner in a virtual ceremony, with Gomba, the winning poet, receiving a $2,000 reward.
The Lilt Of The Rebel triumphed over five other shortlisted poems, including Echezonachukwu Nduka’s Chrysanthemum For Wide Eyed Ghosts, Tanure Ojaide’s A Poetic Diary Of The Coronavirus Epidemic, Servio Gbadamosi’s Where The Light Enters You, and Olumide Olaniyan’s Akimbo In Limbo.
The poem is a compilation of 108 poems that cover a wide range of human topics. The prize’s organizers, on the other hand, praised Gomba’s poetry for being “bold, frank, and fearless of controversy.” “His aesthetics is sure-footed of a poet who has earned his place as one of the best across centuries,” they said in a statement.
Abdul Monem Ramadan (Egypt) and Mohamed Naquib Mohamed Ali (Sudan) shared first place in the Arabic category with their collections Lover and The Cell Of The Wings, respectively. The judges for this category were Egypt’s Ashraf Aboul-Yazid and Morocco’s Fatima Bouhraka. Miftah Al–Amari (People of the Wind) and Nosaiba Atta Allah were also contenders (Hosted by Godo).
Sékou Chérif Haidara (Guinea) won the French category with his collection, Cahiervestigesiges, which was judged by Dr. Alain Serge Agnessan (Ivory Coast), Eric Bekale (Gabon), Keylineline Adodo (Togo). Ernest Koffiga Kavege (‘Tomorrow, Plenitude’), Danielle Gonai (Mosaique), Fatoumata Keita (Ce n’est jamais fini), Abdoulaye Seck (Délices de l’âme et coeur), and Kossi Sena Adufu were among the other finalists (Des profondeurs de la vie).
In the Kiswahili category, Bashiru Abdallah won with his collection, Wino Was Dhahabu, which was judged by Dr. Hamisi Babusa (Kenya) and Esther Karin Mngodo (Tanzania).” Other Swahili competitors included Ali Mohammed (Kilio Cha Sisimizi), Djibril Adamu (Kipeto Cha Risala), and Rashid Othman Ali (Mapinduzi Ya Kalamu).