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Okigbo conference kicks off in Ibadan


Celebrated poet and humanist, Christopher Okigbo would be remembered today in a conference celebrating his work 50 years after he died in battle in 1967. The Christopher Okigbo Foundation, set up by his daughter, Obiageli Okigbo, in collaboration with the University of Ibadan, will hold the Christopher Okigbo Conference at Trendchard Hall, University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

It has as theme ‘Legacy of Christopher Okigbo – 50 Years On.’ The conference will be a gathering of some of Nigeria’s literary heavyweights, with Prof. Wole Soyinka delivering the keynote address while Eze (Prof.) Chkukwuemeka Ike will chair it. Prof. JP Clark will speak from the perspective of a friend, while Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, will be the royal father. Okigbo’s widow, Ambassador Judith Attah Okigbo and Chief Berkhout Joop are among the other dignitaries.

A statement from the organisers said, “2017 marks the golden anniversary of the passage of Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo (August 16, 1932 – September 1967). The Nigerian poet, teacher, and librarian, who died fighting for the independence of Biafra, is today widely acknowledged as an outstanding postcolonial English-language African poet and one of the major modernist writers of the 20th century. As part of the activities to commemorate his passage, a two-day conference is being planned for September 20 & 21, 2017 at his alma mater, the University of Ibadan.”


Obiageli said there would be an unveiling of ‘Memory of the World Heritage Register,’ a UNESCO Plaque for her father, which is a “selection criteria regarding world significance and outstanding universal value.” It will be unveiled by Senior Programme Specialist, Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO, Joie Springer.

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