Mabel Segun

Mabel Dorothy Segun is a versatile woman whose outstanding achievements in the fields of literature, broadcasting and sports have earned her Nigeria's national honours which she was awarded in December 2004. In October 2007, she was proclaimed joint winner of Nigeria's most prestigious prize for Literature - the LNG Nigeria Prize for Literature which was awarded for her children's book, Readers' Theatre: Twelve Plays for Young People. In 2009, her long literary and academic career was rewarded when she received the Nigerian National Order of Merit for academic excellence in the humanities.

Mabel Segun has written, co-authored and edited several children's books including the classic autobiography My Father's Daughter;and its sequel, My Mother's Daughter, both of which have formed the subject of University theses and literary articles in Nigeria and overseas. She has published five books for adults including a poetry collection,Conflict and Other Poems, a collection of short stories published by Longman in UK titled;The Surrender and Other Stories,and a selection of her radio talks under the titleFriends, Nigerians, Countrymen, later retitledSorry No Vacancy. Mabel Segun's stories and poems have been published in over 30 anthologies in Nigeria and abroad. They have been translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, Greek and Serbo Croat. Two of her children's books have been translated into Swahili and Arabic.

Mabel Segun showed early promise both as a writer and as a sportswoman at the newly founded University College, Ibadan where she was admitted in 1949 into the second set of students. She graduated in 1953 with a second class London Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, Latin and History. She was deputy editor and advertisement manager of the University Herald with Chinua Achebe, her classmate as editor, and contributed poems, short stories and articles to that pioneer students' magazine. A short story, The Surrender , which she wrote in the year of her graduation won the maiden edition of the Nigerian Festival of the Arts Literature Prize the following year, 1954. The first Nigerian woman to play table tennis, she became an honorary male by entering for Men's Singles tournaments and was awarded the University's Table Tennis Half Colour.