The literary community had lost another icon Gabriel Okara at the age of 97.
The Nigerian poet, playwright, and novelist, Gabriel Okara died on 25th March 2019 in his Bayelsa home few weeks to his 98th birthday.
Okara, was recognized as the first Modernist poet of Anglophone Africa died following a brief illness.
He has several internationally acclaimed poems and novels like ‘Piano and Drums’, ‘You Laughed and Laughed and Laughed’, ‘Once Upon a Time’, ‘The Fisherman’s Invocation’ and ‘The Voice’ to his name.
Okara was also widely published in influential national and international journals.
Gabriel Imomotimi Gbaingbain Okara was born on April 24, 1921, in his hometown Bomoundi in the present-day Bayelsa State of Nigeria.
Dr. Okara attended the famous Government College Umuahia in the 1930s and 40s where he got exposed to and was inspired by the writings of Williams Shakespeare and other literary greats. He went on to attend Yaba Higher College and Northwestern University, USA.
A writer whose works appear to be borne out of immense thought on issues prevalent in his immediate environment that he was called “the Nigerian Negritudist”. Okara was not restricted to a genre of literature rather he delivers his message in the genre relevant to the given subject matter.
He will surely be missed.