Tomorrow, September 4 marks the first-year anniversary of the demise of foremost scholar of African oral literature and award-winning novelist, Professor Isidore Okpewho. Keeping in tune with his general quiet lifestyle often away from the limelight, his family has chosen to mark this important anniversary in a private way.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Prof. Nduka Otiono, a notable mentee of Okpewho averred that, “To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Okpewho’s passing, his family will be gathering with friends to share memories, stories and prayers at his graveside in celebration of his rich life and legacy.”
Otiono recalls that within this first year of the death of the author of over a dozen books, intellectuals from various parts of the world have acclaimed the genius of Okpewho as a distinguished man of letters. Amongst several activities held posthumously in his honour, the special roundtable on his life and work at the 2017 African Literature Association (ALA) conference at Yale University is particularly noteworthy. Chaired by the new President of ALA, Prof. Adeleke Adeeko, the Roundtable featured associates and speakers, who had been taught by Okpewho and who had become professors in their own right in North America.
It would be recalled that Okpewho, who died on September 4, 2016 at age 74 was buried on September 17 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, New Jersey, U.S. In Asaba, Delta State, a literary event has been lined up to commemorate the one-year remembrance of Okpewho by Delta Literary Forum (DLF). Highlights of the literary evening will include special of readings from two of his award winning books, The Victims and The Last Duty and short critiques, eulogies, anecdotes and other commentaries to celebrate one of Delta’s finest scholars and literary ambassadors to the international community.
Expected guests at the DLF include Prof. Pat Muoboghare, Dr. Sunny Awhefedha, Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, Odia Ofeimum and a rich list of literary personae and patrons, the literary community, well wishers as well as members of Okpewho family.The event is scheduled for Monday, September 4, 2017 at 4pm – 6pm, with venue at Hotel Benezia, Asaba.