Birthday celebrations for Femi Osofisan
The 65th birthday of renowned playwright, Femi Osofisan, will be marked with a series of activities from June 12 to 19 at the Arts Theatre, University of Ibadan.
The poet, novelist, translator, critic, essayist, publisher, and professor of Theatre Arts will be 65 on June 16.
The celebration themed, ‘Ode to the Tiger', is a partnership between Olamide Onikosi's Vibrant Golden Profile and the Theatre Arts department of the University of Ibadan where the dramatist teaches.
Onikosi explained that the two organisations are rolling out the drums for Osofisan, the most performed playwright in Nigeria, as a way of "giving back to him a fragmental bit of the happiness which he has bestowed on others around the world."
He added that, "We strongly believe that our heroes should be celebrated while alive and of course when they are no more but most importantly while alive, as this action enhances the credibility of any posthumous celebration of any kind. It is our belief that when our heroes are not celebrated alive, then any celebration after their death is superficial and non-relevant."
Onikosi, who further described the playwright as an inspiration and altruist, disclosed that organisers conceived the project because they believe in it, adding that it "will serve as motivation for the upcoming generation to aspire for greatness."
The celebration starts on June 12 with an exhibition of works by and on the artist at the Arts Theatre, University of Ibadan, by 10am. A gyration by students and other admirers follows at 4pm while a performance of Osofisan's ‘Altine's Wrath' rounds off the opening day.
Other activities of the celebration taking place at the Arts Theatre include film shows, stage plays, mock radio presentations and a symposium themed, ‘65 Seasons of the Tiger's Growl: Transculturalism in Femi Osofisan's Writing'.
Sola Adeyemi, currently on sabbatical at Redeemer's University, Ogun State, from Leeds University, UK, and Folake Onayemi of the Classics Department, University of Ibadan, will speak at the occasion.
Osofisan has written over 50 plays including ‘Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels', ‘Morountodun and Other Plays', ‘Twingle-Twangle A-Twynning Tayle', ‘The Women of Owu', ‘Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest', and ‘Bishop Ajayi Crowther: The Triumphs and Travails of a Legend'.
He is also a poet and novelist who writes under the pseudonym, Okinba Launko. ‘Minted Coins' and ‘Dream Seeker on Diving Chain' are some of his poetry collections, while his novels include ‘Kolera Kolej' and ‘Wuraola Forever'. Osofisan is a former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors.