Heart Of Arts

The 2021 J.A. Atanda Prize for The Best Essay on The Yoruba

The 2021 J.A. Atanda Prize for The Best Essay on The Yoruba


Joseph Adebowale Atanda was a passionate historian who dedicated his scholarship to the historiography of Africa, especially that of the Yoruba. Popular among his publications are The New Oyo Empire: Indirect Rule and Change in Western Nigeria, 1894-1934An Introduction to Yoruba History and Baptist Churches in Nigeria: Accounts of Their Foundation and Growth. The robust contributions of Atanda to Yoruba Studies have enhanced the existing knowledge of the Yoruba history, culture and spirituality, as well as the colonial and postcolonial relation. More than two decades after his demise, his scholarship remains relevant, and more increasingly so.

It is on this premise that the Yoruba Studies Review decided to celebrate and honor his distinctiveness with the J.A. Atanda Prize for the Best Essay on the Yoruba, and in doing so, promote and preserve the legacy he embodied. The objective is to promote and revive the socio-cultural and religious significance of the Yoruba, and as a result contribute to the stream of revivalist efforts geared towards the resuscitation of the African spirit. For it is in the history, language, culture and worldview that the spirit flourishes.

The J.A. Atanda Prize for the Best Essay on the Yoruba is worth $500, a citation and a certificate. The J. A. Atanda Prize represents a solid and remarkable platform for the promotion and further development of Yoruba Studies.



  • Preliminary Evaluation: January 1 – April 15, 2020
  • Longlist Announcement:  July, 2020
  • Shortlist Announcement: September, 2020
  • Announcement of Winner: October, 2020

Review and Evaluation Guidelines:

Only the essays published (or to be published) in Yoruba Studies Review qualify for this award.

While all submissions are acceptable in English, we especially encourage essays written in Yoruba.

We also welcome translation of essays on the Yoruba, but the prize would be shared between the translator and original writer (if still alive).

Where an unpublished essay receives the prize, the entrant gives the exclusive right to edit and publish the work upon selection for longlist in Yoruba Studies Review.

READ ALSO: https://heartofarts.org/the-ties-that-bind-love-tolerance-and-communal-life-in-abdul-rasheed-naallahs-baba-omokewu-by-toyin-falola/

The editors of Yoruba Studies Review will choose the best essays according to a professional and rigorous set of guidelines covering data quality, originality, and contributions to knowledge.

The editors of Yoruba Studies Review will constitute a jury for each year. The short-listed essays will be sent to members of the jury for final determination of the winner.


Chair:            Professor Akinloye Ojo, University of Georgia

Members:      Professor Segun Ogungbemi, Independent Scholar

Dr. Bose Afolayan, University of Lagos

Secretary to the Jury: Kaosarat Aina, University of Ibadan



Volume 3, Number 1. Fall 2018

Anchored in Justice: Yoruba Philosophy and the Politics of a Diverse State – Segun Gbadegesin

Omo ti a ko ko: Globalization and Cultural Education among new Generation Nigeria Yoruba – Michael Afolayan

The Depersonalized as Vanishing Hero nd Heroine in Yoruba Morals Placards – Olatunde Bayo Lawuyi

I am hated, therefore, I am: the Enemy in Yoruba Imaginary – Abimbola Adelakun


Volume 3, Number 2. Spring 2019

Faleti’s Philosophical Sensibility – Adeshina Afolayan

Iconic Celebration of Charms and Friendship in Poetry: Faleti’s “Adebimpe Ojedokun” – Michael Oladejo Afolayan


Volume 4, Number 1. Fall 2019

Yoruba Chinese Ethical Intersectionality: Towards a Community of Shared Future in Afro-Asian Diasporic Spaces – Philip Ademola Olayoku

East-West, West-East: Cultural Transmission and Exchange of Yoruba Religious Wood-carvings between Oyo, Sabe, and Ife-Ana –Abiodun Olasupo Akande

A Survey of Audience of Atoka: A Yoruba Photoplay Magazine – Clement Adeniyi Akangbe


Volume 4, Number 2. Spring 2020

Welcome to the White Man’s World: An English Translation of Isaac Oluwole Delano’s Historical Novel Aiye Daiye Oyinbo – Michael Oladejo Afolayan


Volume 5, Number 1.1 Fall 2020

Poetic Exploration of Obasa’s Prolegomenous Poetry – Duro Adeleke

Poetic Utterances and Socio-political Commitment in Obasa’s Poems – Lere Adeyemi


Volume 5, Number 1.2 Fall 2020

Dispersion of the Yoruba to the Americas: A Fatalist Hermeneutics of Ori in the Yoruba Cosmos – Reading from Tutuoba: Salem’s Black Shang Slave Queen – Emmanuel Adeniyi


Volume 6, Number 2 Spring 2021

Àkànlò-èdè Tuntun Nínú Àwọn Orin Ọ̀dọ́ Ìwòyí- Dayọ Akanmu

Itúpale Ewi Alaworo-Ekun Laarin Awon Awori – Rifqat Opeyemi Sanni


For update and inquiries, contact:  toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu;   akinyemi@ufl.edu; and   <agadejumo@yahoo.com>