The Nigerian social critic Ikhide R. Ikheloa has been awarded the James Currey Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Criticism. The honour is administered by the James Currey Society. The society also runs a Fellowship in connection with the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.
Ikhide R. Ikheloa has written extensively on the African literary scene and the Nigerian political space. His reviews and essays have appeared in African Writer, Guernica, Munyori Literary Journal, and Eclectica. He is known for his fiery advocacy for human rights and disappeared Nigerian journalists, most notably Dadiyata. He has frequently argued for the consideration of social media writing as legitimate literature.
He was ecstatic about the news.
The James Currey Society, founded by Abibiman Publishing co-founder Onyeka Nwelue, is named after the South African publisher James Currey. In 1967, he and Chinua Achebe set up the famed African Writers Series (AWS) published by Heinemann, which introduced many African writers to a global audience.
The society runs the James Currey Prize for African Literature, whose first winner last year Ani Kayode Somtochukwu’s novel is forthcoming from the Grove Atlantic imprint Roxane Gay Books in 2023.
Ikheloa will receive his award at the James Currey Prize Ceremony on September 3, 2022, at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.