On Monday October 2, 2017, Samuel Monye and 13-year-old Arshiya were announced winners of the maiden edition of the Quramo Writer’s Prize (QWP) at the award ceremony which took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites. Earlier in the year, Quaramo Publishing Limited put out a call for submissions in a bid to give new and emerging writers in Nigeria a chance to tell their stories, become published authors and gain recognition.
Samuel Monye, winner of the QWP is a novelist and a spoken word poet. His winning story, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread that was themed around the Lord’s Prayer, tells the story of a young boy, Seun, whose life changed after his uncle smuggled him through the Sahara Desert on an illegal quest. Monye said he has been writing for as long as he can remember but only started writing stories and novels in 2012. The graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who is currently undergoing youth service in Oyo state, is currently a million naira richer with a book publishing deal.
Arshiya, winner of the junior prize is a young Indian girl who has lived in Nigeria for two years. Her winning story, The Forgotten is the teenager’s first written story.
The QWP award ceremony was well attended by socialites, writers including the First Lady of Lagos state, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, former first lady, Dame Abimbola Fashola, First Lady of Kaduna State, Mrs El Rufai among others.
One of the highlights of the winners’ unveiling ceremony was a stage play entitled ‘Ajayi: Write to freedom’. The play which told the story of Samuel Ajayi Crowther featured Kemi Lala Akindoju and Seun Ajayi in lead roles. Gbemi Shasore, the executive publisher of Quramo Publishing wrote and produced the play.