The arts theatre at the University of Ibadan was filled with artist action as the Niyi Osundare Poetry Festival 2016 thrilled audiences.
The festival is hosted in honour of Niyi Osundare a distinguished Professor of English at the University of Orleans, Lakefront, New Orleans USA. Prof Osundare is a serial winner of prizes in poetry but he is well known for standing up to the murderous regime of President Sani Abacha. This was while he was doing his stint as a professor of literature at the University of Ibadan. This year the festival’s theme is “Beyond Words: Poetry, Performance and Community Development” which makes perfect if you realise that the man was all about was all about the community wherever he went.
The keynote Speaker at this event was Professor Oyeniyi Okunoye who is the head of the department of English at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. He will become familiar to many followers of the African literature game as he was on the panel of judges that deemed that Chika Unigwe would go home with the Nigerian literature Award in 2012 for her book On Black Sister’s Street.
Also making a presentation was award winning poet, writer and Professor Egya Sule who writes under the pen name E.E. Sule. He won the Commonwealth Book Prize for Africa for his book Sterile Sky. There will also be presentations by Sunny Awefeada, Saleh Abdu, Yusuf Hashim and Drs. Nereus Yerima, Tosin Gbogi, Gabriel Osoba and Wale Okediran. Also expected among others are Prof Jelili Ojuade, Dr. Servio Gbadamosi (2015 ANA Prize W inner for Poetry), members of the ANA Oyo State led by Dr. Solomon Iguare, Kola Bata, Remilekun Kasali (Remmy Chanter), Soji Gbelekale, Akikanju Ode, Seun Omisakin, Alabi Ogundepo and Akeem Lasisi.
Here are some images from the festival courtesy of our friends the organised the event.