The Odia Ofeimun at 70 Committee has announced activities to mark the 70th birthday celebrations of Odia Ofeimun, saying the two-day event will begin on Monday, March 16, 2020.
According to a statement by a spokesperson for the committee, a conference with the theme, Taking Nigeria Seriously: A Conference in Honour of Odia Ofeimun, will hold at the Julius Berger Hall of the University of Lagos campus on March 16 and 17.
The celebration, the committee added, will end with a Special Dinner in honour of the celebrant on the evening of March 17 at the Hall of the University of Lagos Guest House.
“The Odia Ofeimun at 70 conference will be a gathering of intellectuals, scholars and academics from within Nigeria, Africa and as wide as from North America and Europe. The Keynote will be given by Professor Biodun Jeyifo, a reputed literary scholar and globally recognised cultural theorist, who until recently was with Harvard University in the United States of America,” said the statement.
The Opening Ceremony of the Conference, holding by 10 am on March 16 at the same venue, will be chaired by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Honourable Minister of Interior of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while the Dinner on March 17 will be chaired by the renowned civil rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba.
A foremost Nigerian poet, journalist, dance-drama producer, critic, columnist and public intellectual, Odia has for more than four decades now, exerted a phenomenal presence in the Nigerian cultural, creative, intellectual and political space. He served as Private Secretary to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Nigerian nationalist and politician between 1978 and 1981; was a member of the editorial board of The Guardian from 1983 to 1988, Chairman of the Editorial Board of The News, Tempo and AM News from 1993 to 1999, and President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) from 1993 to 1997.
Ofeimun’s Hornbill House of Culture represents a platform, which he has continued to use to execute his multi-dimensional activities including writing, dance-drama production, book publishing, cultural promotion and political interventions. He has close to forty (40) published books to his name; they include volumes of poetry, collections of critical essays, anthologies of cultural and political interventions, and compilations of journalistic writings. In 2010, Odia Ofeimun won the Fonlon Nichols award for excellence in writing and human rights activism. He is an exemplary man in many respects and his contributions to Nigeria letters and ideas as well as public life make him richly deserving of such an honour.
This is an open invitation to the public, for those who would wish to attend the conference.