By Japhet Davidson
VARIOUS activities have been lined up for the 70th Birthday Celebrations of a foremost Nigerian poet, journalist, dance-drama producer, critic, Odia Ofeimun.
This was disclosed by the committee chair of Odia Ofeimun @ 70 Committee Mr Jahman Anikulapo. According to the release, the two-day event which will open on 16th and 17th of March, 2020 is scheduled to hold at the Julius Berger Hall of the University of Lagos and the University of Lagos Guest House respectively.
In this regard, the Committee is hosting Taking Nigeria Seriously: A Conference in Honour of Odia Ofeimun, which would hold at the Julius Berger Hall of the University of Lagos campus on March 16 and 17. The celebration 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 conferences 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.
The Opening Ceremony of the Conference, held by 10 a.m. on March 16 at the same venue, will be chaired by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, while the Dinner on March 17 will be chaired by the renowned civil rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba.
A foremost critic, columnist and public intellectual, Odia have 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.