The Belgium based Nigerian author was announced the winner of the prize on Thursday at a World Press Conference in Lagos by the Chairman of the Board of panelists chosen to screen entries for this year, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo.
‘On Black Sister’s Street’ made the final shortlist of 3. The other two entries were ‘Only a Canvas‘ by Olusola Olugbesan and ‘Onaedo: The Blacksmith’s Daughter‘ by Ngozi Achebe.
The prize was instituted in 2004 by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited to promote and encourage authorship and the development of Nigerian literary culture and Ms Unigwe is the first Nigerian author based outside Nigeria to win the coveted prize.
Chika Unigwe holds a Ph.D in Literature from University of Leiden and has published short fiction in several anthologies, journals and magazines including Wasafiri (University of London), Moving Worlds (University of Leeds), Per Contra, Voices of the University of Wisconsin and Okike of the University of Nigeria.
In 2003, she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.
In 2004, she won the BBC Short story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Competition award and her short story made the top 10 of the Million Writers Award for best online fiction.