Poet and finalist of the 2022 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Saddiq Dzukogi has narrated his bitter-sweet experience over the shortlisting of his book, ‘Your Crib, My Qibla.’
The Minna-born poet and Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University’s Department of English, United States was announced by the Advisory Board for The Nigeria Prize for Literature as one of three finalists on, August 26, 2022.
The 33-year-old poet said the selected book is a collection of poetry and a tribute to his late daughter who died five years ago.
Upon learning about its nomination, Dzukogi couldn’t help but experience a bitter-sweet emotion as he reminisced over the memories he shared with the deceased.
“I cried when I got the news,” he said in an interview with BBC Hausa. “But I was happy at the same time because I wrote the book to bring her to the limelight. I missed her so much.”
Dzukogi added that he hopes Nigerians, especially Northerners are proud of him as he is the only northerner that made it to the finalists’ stage.
Recalling that he started writing poetry at the age of 13, Dzukogi called on young poets to devote sincerity to their arts and be conscious of their immediate environment when writing.
His collection was rated above Dzukogi’s ‘Your Crib, My Qibla’ and Su’eddie Vershima Agema’s ‘Memory and the Call of Water.’
The biennial prize is sponsored by Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG). Since 2004, it has rotated among the genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s literature.