ANA Bayelsa Poetry Prize.
He makes it so simple, so musical, so sweet.
At 93, he is still communing with his Muse. Gabriel Imomotimi Gbaingbain Okara met poetry in its pure, un-adulterated form, and elevated it to even more sublime heights. Listeners were so enthralled by his reading, beg your pardon, performance, of his ‘The Call of the River Nun’ at the unveiling of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital insignias in 2013 that the standing ovation he received could outlive an anthill. That was Pa okara @92.
On Sunday 21 /06/2014 at Yenagoa, literature enthusiasts were treated to the ultimate experience when that poem, along with ‘One Night at Victoria Beach,’ set to music, was performed to rapturous shouts of encore. It was an occasion to mark the maestro’s 93rd birthday [he was born April 21]. The occasion was also the 12th anniversary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Bayelsa Branch.
As an aside, prizes were awarded in various genres for the ANA Bayelsa 2014 Prizes of which yours truly was awarded the POETRY PRIZE for my poem ‘Petroleum Corrigendum.’
I dedicate this prize to the one who is waxing as melodious as ever; the one who at 93 is still hearkening to the prompt of his Muse’s flute. To you, Pa Gabriel Okara I bow in awe.