2005 Rainbow Writers Awardee, Pa Gabriel Okara, passed on 25th March, 2019 in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Okara, who was also a lifelong Patron of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) died a month shy of his 98th birthday.
Reported to be the first renowned English Language black African poet and the first African modernist writer, Okara was widely published in influential national and international journals. He is also the author of several books including The Fisherman’s Invocation, The Voice. Piano and Drums as well as Call of the River Nun are amongst his most popular poems.
Okara always graced the Rainbow Book Club (RBC) outings such as the annual Port Harcourt Book Festival and the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 year-long programme. In an interview which he granted the RBC founder, Koko Kalango, he was asked “At 93 what do you know for sure?” He answered “At 93, I know for sure that the flesh will go as all flesh and the spirit goes as all spirits in the image and likeness of God”.
We salute and cherish his memory.