Nigerian National Merit award winner, poet and literary giant, Professor Niyi Osundare joined the septuagenarians today.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who returned to Nigeria on Friday has joined the literary world in congratulating the renowned academic, poet, columnist and dramatist. He wished him “longer life, good health and more wisdom to serve humanity”.
Buhari said that Osundare, through courage and the power of the pen has contributed immensely to the political history of Nigeria.
He therefore rejoiced with the family and friends of the poet.
The President believed the septuagenarian’s sacrifices over the years can only be rewarded with strong democratic institutions that guarantee free and fair elections, and an effective governance that provides security, good health facilities and sound education to its citizenry.
President Buhari commended the disciplined, forthright and diligent spirit of the erudite scholar, whose written works already span the globe, attracting numerous awards, and whose voice of wisdom will continue to resonate through generations.
Osundare was born in Ikere-Ekiti in 1947.
His early education began at St. Luke’s Primary School and Amoye Secondary School, both in Ikere-Ekiti, before he moved on to the Christ School, Ado-Ekiti,
He had degrees at the University of Ibadan (BA), the University of Leeds (MA) and York University, Canada (PhD, 1979).
He was professor (from 1989) and Head of English (1993–97) at the University of Ibadan.
He became professor of English at the University of New Orleans in 1997.
Osundare and his wife, Kemi, have three children, two girls and a son who lives in Nigeria.
He is a holder of numerous awards for his poetry, as well as the Fonlon/Nichols award for “excellence in literary creativity combined with significant contributions to Human Rights in Africa”.
In 2014, he was recognised by Nigeria when he was awarded the Nigerian National Merit Award for Academic Excellence.