By Daniel Dafe
Popular Nigerian writer and winner of the Nigeria Prizes for Science and Literature, Prof. Sam Ukala, is dead, NIGER DELTA TODAY (NDT) Online reports.
The renowned playwright and academician passed on Monday night at 73.
He hailed from Owa Kingdom in Ika subtribe of Anioma Nation in Delta State.
He was a Professor of Theatre Arts and Drama at Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, until his recent retirement.
Late Ukala propounded the theory of ‘folkism’ – the tendency to base literary plays on indigenous history and culture and to compose and perform them in accordance with the aesthetics of African folktale composition and performance – which has become globally recognized.
The Delta-born writer was recently appointed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a board member of the Governing Council of the three newly established universities in Delta.
The deceased also chaired the Delta chapter of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
He won the Nigeria Prizes for Science and Literature with his bestselling book Iredi War in 2014.
Iredi War, a ‘folk-script’, is based on the 1906 uprising of the Owa Kingdom against oppressive British rule.
He also won the 1989 ANA/British Council Prize for Drama with Akpakaland.
Other of his literary works which received global recognition include; The Slave Wife, The Log in Your Eye, Akpakaland, Break a Boil and Harvest of Ghosts.
When contacted, the Vice Chancellor of DELSU, Abraka, Professor Andy Egwunyenga declined reacting to the sad news, saying that “I will talk about it but not now.”
Adding: “I am too shocked to say anything now. I can’t say anything right now. Thank you.”
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