Henry Akubuiro is an award-winning journalist, playwright, novelist, children’s literature author and an unpublished poet. He studied English and Literary Studies at Imo State University, Owerri, where he excelled as a campus journalist, becoming the pioneer editor of the creative writing magazine, The Elite, and the university’s newspaper, The Imo Star.
He showed early promise as a writer from his undergraduate days when he won all the available literary prizes (Best Novelist, Best Playwright and Best Poet) at the inaugural ELSA Awards (1998) of Imo State University, Owerri.
Currently the Assistant Editor of Saturday Sun, one of Nigerian leading newspapers, he has spent most of his journalism career covering the literary/arts and culture beats, and is widely known for editing ‘The Sun Literary Review’, Nigeria’s longest running literary supplement dedicated to promoting literature, writers and writings.
His book of interviews, Conversations with 50 African Writers: From Ngugi wa Thiong’o to Chimamanda Adichie, is in the works. He has been described by Professors Tanure Ojaide. Niyi Osundare, Ernest Emenyonu and Hope Eghagha as the most consistent and vibrant literary journalist in Nigeria.
His short stories, interviews and reviews have appeared in international journals, such as OPEC magazine, Vienna; Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Canada; ALA (African Literature Association) journal, USA; ANA Review, Nigeria, etcetera.
Also a book editor, who has edited over 200 works of fiction and nonfiction for Nigerian authors, home and abroad, many which have become bestsellers and made the reading lists of schools across the country.
He is the author of the novellas, Little Wizard of Okokomaiko (winner of ANA/Lantern Books Prize for Prose (2009), Adventures of Bingo and Bomboi (2015) and Vershima and the Missing Cow (2020). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Prodigals in Paradise (2016), which is on the reading lists of five Nigerian universities. Yamtarawala, the Warrior King (2023) is his first published play, though he has other unpublished plays.
Akubuiro is the winner of the 1998 National Essay Competition organised by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sport and the 1998 BBC World Service Young Reporters’ Competition. He is the runner-up for the ANA Prose Prize (2017) and the Nigeria Media Merit Award Arts and Culture Reporter of the Year (2022).
His creative works interrogate the postcolonial African condition and its impact on contemporary society. In recent times, he has focused on the zeitgeist and historicity of the African royalty and past hidden from the literary world.
Akubuiro is the Jury Chair for the 2023 James Currey Prize for African Literature organised in Oxford, United Kingdom.