Camillus Ukah, President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has Congratulated Prof. Femi Osofisan, a writer of Global Stature and former President of the Association as he attains the age of 76.
This was contained in a statement issued by ANA General Secretary, Maik Ortserga in Makurdi on Thursday.
ANA in the statement recognizes Professor Osofisan’s contribution to the growth of Nigerian Literature, especially by spearheading the training of generations of writers, theatre artists many of whom became renowned professors, notable writers and distinguished theatre practitioners in Nigeria and across the globe.
Parts of the Statement read, “Today, we celebrate an iconic personality. One of the very best our country has produced. We thank you (Professor Femi Osofisan) for giving the best of your life for the service of ANA, the Nigerian nation, and the writing profession across the world.”
“Your birthday is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for what a wonderful mentor you are. You have guided us all in the right direction and motivated us to do our very best. Thank you for being such a wonderful leader.”
The apex body of writers in Africa finally wished Prof. Femi Osofisan a happy 76th birthday celebration and prayed that God almighty will grant him many more years of good health and strength.
Femi Osofisan is one of the foremost dramatists in Africa. Femi Osofisan has had a distinguished career in the academy. He is Emeritus Professor of Drama, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a Theatre Director, Actor, Critic, Poet, Novelist, Editor and Newspaper Columnist. Osofisan has written and produced more than sixty plays, five volumes of poetry, four novels and several collections of essays.
Osofisan has won several other awards, including 1st Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service [WNBS] Prize for Independence Anniversary Essay, the first Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Literature award in 1983 for Morountodun and Other Plays and later for Drama with Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest in 1993. Minted Coins, a collection of poetry written under the pseudonym Okinba Launko, won the ANA Poetry Prize and the Regional Commonwealth Poetry Award for First Collection in 1987.
In 2000, he was short-listed for the prestigious Neustadt Prize in the USA. He has been honoured with Officier de l’Ordre Nationale de Mérite, Rép. de France (1999); Nigerian National Order of Merit in the Humanities NNOM; Fonlon-Nichols Prize for Literature and the Struggle for Human Rights (2006); and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of the Arts FNAL. Osofisan was also a Drama Consultant to the Second World Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture (Festac ’77), the Cultural Olympiad, 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta, and Movement for Mass Mobilization, Social and Economic Recovery (MAMSER), Abuja, Nigeria (1989). He was also the President of ANA (1988-1990) and PEN, Nigeria (2004-2010), and one time General Manager and Chief Executive of the National Theatre, Lagos, Nigeria.
Osofisan’s plays have been performed in many countries, where he has also held teaching or research fellowships, including Japan, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Lesotho, China, USA, Canada, UK, France, South Africa; his plays are among the most produced in Nigeria. Femi Osofisan is a founding member and Literary Editor of the first Editorial Board of The Guardian, Lagos (1983-84); Founder and Artistic Director, Kakaun Sela Kompani (1979) and Centre STAGE-Africa [the Centre for Studies in Theatre and Alternative Genres of Expression in Africa, a non-governmental trusteeship organisation]; and Founder and Editor of Opon Ifa, a poetry chap-book (1974), which later became Opon Ifa Review, a quarterly journal of the arts, primarily for creative writing.