On November 1, 2012, Chika Ungiwe's On Black Sisters' Street has won the NLNG awards. Unigwe's book was shortlisted alongside ten other books including such heavyweights as Jude Dibia's Blackbird, Adaobi Tricia's I do not Come to you by Chance and Lola Shoneyin's The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives. The award, the largest in monetary terms, comes with a US$ 100,000. The NLNG rotates yearly among four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children's literature. Last year, Adeleke Adeyemi, writing as Mai Nasara, won the story for his work Missing Clock (children's literature).
The Chairman of the Advisory Board said the book 'is a work of outstanding merit'. According to the Chair of Judges 'what is striking about Chika Unigwe's novel is the compassion that informs it.'
On Black Sisters Street tells a gripping story of the lives of four African migrants working the Red Light District of Antwerp in Belgium brought together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives.
The award, instituted in 2004, has seen such winners as Gabriel Okara, Ezenwa Ohaeto (co-winner, 2004), Ahmed Yerima (Hard Ground), Mabel Segun (Reader's Theatre), Kaine Agary (Yellow Yellow), Esiaba Irobi (Cemetery Road).
On Black Sisters Street was also longlisted for the IMPAC 2010 prize. With this win, Chika Unigwe becomes the first foreign-based Nigerian writer to win the prize.