A 41-year-old Nigerian lawyer and author, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onoubia, has clinched the award for best fiction writer at the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair, in the United Arab Emirates.
Mrs Onuobia, whose debut work, ‘Son of the House’, won in the best fiction category, was honoured by the Ruler of Sharjah, Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair, United Arab Emirate (UAE).
The award-winning novel, Son of the House centres around struggles of womanhood and parenting amidst sexual abuse and societal pressure in marriage.
Describing the award as a pleasant surprise to her, the author told Channels TV on Friday that she hoped women, especially young Nigerian writers would be motivated by her achievement and not give up on their dreams after recording rejections in their writing journey.
“I was surprised to find out that I was the only female. I want to see women winning awards and get recognised.
“I have faced quite a bit of rejection in the course of my journey, so it is extremely thrilling for me to be standing here with this award despite the challenges I faced while trying to get this book published,” she advised.
The Sharjah International Book Fair Award is an annual award that recognises outstanding accomplishments in both regional and international publishing industry.
Mrs Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a leading expert in Health law in Nigeria and Associate Professor at Babcock University School of Law and Security Studies who founded Centre for Health Ethics Law and Development in 2010.
She holds a First-class degree in Law from the University of Nigeria and a doctorate degree in Law from Dalhousie University, Canada.
Her extensive research works on health policy, law and ethics have been published in reputable journals in Canada, the UK and Nigeria which has won her numerous awards including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship and Killam Scholarship Son of the House.
‘Son of the House’ is her first fictional book.