By Bayole Sipasi
Gabriel Okara, one of Nigeria’s foremost poets and novelists, is dead. He died on Sunday evening at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa state,where he was rushed to after slumping while relaxing at his Yenagoa residence.
In a statement on Monday, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said Governor Seriakhe Dickson has declared a three-day mourning for Okara.
Iworiso-Markson said for the next three days, all flags will fly at half mast.
Born on April 24,1921, late Okara was a lifelong patron of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and touted as the first modernist poet of anglophone Africa.
Some of his works included Piano and Drums, Call of the River Nun, The Voice, The Fisherman’s Invocation, The Dreamer, His Vision.
He was educated at Government College, Umuahia, Abia State and Yaba Higher College. His career started by translating poetry from Ijaw into English and writing scripts for government radio. b