ASABA/Nigeria: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated budding poet, Othuke Umukoro, for emerging winner of Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021.
Okowa’s felicitation with the Olomoro in Isoko South of Delta-born poet was conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba.
He described Umukoro, a teacher, as one of Nigeria’s brightest exports to the literary world, noting that the global community was yet to see the best from him.
The governor lauded the University of Ibadan graduate for his brilliant contribution to poetry genre and for bringing honour and fame to himself and to Delta.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate Mr Othuke Umukoro for winning the $3,000-Brunel International African Poetry Prize 2021.
“As a state, we are particularly proud of your great accomplishment and it is our prayer that you work harder to win more laurels in the near future.
“We also pray that you will be a good model to young people in our State, and that you spare some time to mentor those that your attainment will inspire,” Okowa said.
Umukoro was chosen from a shortlist of eight poets, including Gambia’s Kweku Abimbola, Uganda’s Arao Ameny, South Africa’s Isabelle Baafi, Somalia’s Asmaa Jama, Lesotho’s Tumello Motabola and compatriots – Oluwadare Popoola and Yomi Sode.
Founded by Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo in 2012, more than 1,000 people entered the eighth Brunel University London-backed contest – the world’s biggest cash prize for African poetry aimed at developing, celebrating and promoting Africa’s poetry.
Othuke Umukoro is brother to Lady Ejiro Umukoro, the International multi award winning communication expert, investigative journalist and General Manager and Head of Station of MEGA 89.1FM Warri who is also the only Delta to have been awarded the Wole Soyinka Centre for investigative journalism Award and Fellow, and also recognised by the Pulitzer Centre, USA for her investigative Journalism.
MEGA 89.1FM under Lady Umukoro within 10 months has gotten 3 award nominations, as faster Rising Station of the Year, Best Radio Station of the Year and Best Sports Radio Station of the Year.