Renowned Nigerian poet Gabriel Okara dies at 97

One of Nigeria’s famous writers, poets and novelists, Dr. Gabriel Okara, has died at the age of 97.

The poet died at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) just four weeks shy of his 98th birthday.

According to Premium Times, a Nigerian online newspaper, Okara was the first renowned English language black poet and the first modernist writer on the African Continent.

The newspaper goes on to cite some of his greatest achievements such as becoming the first African to be published in the prestigious literary journal, Black Orpheus by 1960, winning the best prize in literature in Nigeria’s festival of arts in 1953 and bagging the highest literary honor in Nigeria, the NLNG prize in 2005.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the late poet.