Grillo’s ‘A Pipe’s Dream’ wins 2022 JEHF Playwright Competition as entries open for 2023 edition

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ADEDOLAPO Grillo has emerged winner of JEHF Playwriting Competition 2022 that was announced on Sunday, February 19, 2023. His play A Pipe’s Dream came first among four finalists with a handsome N250,000 prize money. The three other finalists received N100,000 each. Grillo is a student of Political Science at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. The other young playwrights are Meliat Abu Idris (Her), Abraham Omale (No Place for Old Men) and Agnes Stephen (The Hen that Lays the Bad Eggs).

A Pipe’s Dream explores the relationship between activism, politics, and the Nigerian reality. It tells the story of Ishola, a Lagos-based activist, who is desperate for social and political change in the state and how he manoeuvres through the muddy waters of Lagos politics.

Dr. Oladipo Agboluaje, a UK-based multiple award-winning playwright, who spoke on behalf of the panel of judges, said the plays on the 2023 round of the competition capture the moment and pulse of Nigerian society today, as they address pertinent issues that affect various spheres of life like politics, position of women and ageism. However, he noted that the writers were still at the early stages of their careers and should learn to allow the characters in their plays to lead and speak for themselves rather than contrive their stories for them.

Winner of JEHF Playwright contest, Adedolapo Grillo

The ceremony was attended by several literary luminaries including former presidents of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Wale Okediran, Mr. Denja Abdullahi and the current president, Dr. Camillus Ukah. The President of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Mr. Israel Eboh commended JEHF for the work it has been doing in providing a platform for young people, particularly playwrights, to engage in theatre and develop their craft as they are the ones to act as the bridge between the pioneer dramatists like Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, etc, and the future tellers of the African story.

Grillo has written several poems and plays, some of which he directed himself. He is a SprinNG Writing Fellowship alumnus, and his book was longlisted for the Quramo Writer’s Prize. He also won the Great Ife Student Union Debate for year 2022. He loves reading, writing, watching comedy and movies, listening to music, and playing sports, especially football, and politics. His blog features his written articles and poems.

The JEHF Playwriting Competition is an annual mentoring scheme for playwrights from 18-35 years’ old designed to develop the new playwrights for the future. entries for the 2023 edition is currently running. To join, log on to to download the application and for the guidelines.

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