- Created: 24 January 2014
Jude Dibia is one of the most recognized names in contemporary Nigerian literature. A graduate of Modern European Languages with a major in German, his novels and short stories are known for their contemporary and controversial themes that address a number of issues from sexuality, gender roles, race and the stigma of HIV/AIDS in modern day Africa.
Dibia is a recipient of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Prose Prize for his second novel Unbridled and has been short-listed twice consecutively for the Nigeria Literature Prize in the prose category for his novels Unbridled and his recently published novel Blackbird in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
Dibia’s short story Somewhere received an honorable mention in the Commonwealth Short Story competition in 2010. He was also a participant at the Caine Prize Workshop in Kenya in 2010 where his story entry A Life in Full was chosen as the title of the Caine Prize anthology that resulted from that workshop.
On his writing inspirations, Dibia says, “I used to believe that [it] was an escape when I was younger. But now, I realize it is not so much an escape as it is an awareness of self. By reading others and writing, I have come to realize that so much unites us as one race, the human race. A mother’s love for a child in Europe or America is no deeper than the love a mother in Africa or the Middle East has for her own child... I am also drawn to the voiceless in society. How do we tell their stories with integrity?”
Apart from attending workshops, Dibia has facilitated a few writing workshops in Nigeria and mentors upcoming writers. He lives and works in Lagos.
Blackbird, Jalaa Writers, 2011
Unbridled, Jacana, 2008
Walking with Shadows, Blacksand Books-Lagos Collective, 2005