Africa Tuesday lost a renowned poet and Emeritus Professor of Literature, John Pepper Clark who wrote the famous Seven broken Hills of Ibadan at the age of 85.
The professor’s death was announced in a statement signed by Prof. C. C. Clark for the family and Ilaye Clark, for the children.
“The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October, 2020.
“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and sibling, around him.
“The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family,” the statement read.
John Pepper Clark Bekederemo, born on April 6, 1935, was one of Nigeria’s foremost anglophone dramatists and poets.
Clark, born of Ijaw parents, received his early education at the Native Administration School and the Government College in Ugheli.
He got his Bachelors’ degree in English at the University of Ibadan, where Wole Soyinka also studied.
In 1960 Clark wrote his first dramatic work, Song of a Goat, which was staged in Ibadanthefollowing year.
After graduation, Clark worked as a journalist, editor, and feature writer in Lagos for Express newspapers. His success as a journalist resulted in his being awarded a fellowship to study at Princeton University in the United States.
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has extended deepest condolence on behalf of the Federal Government to the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family on the passing of the renowned writer and Emeritus Professor of Literature, Prof. John Pepper Clark.
President Buhari paid tribute to one of Nigeria’s finest poets, dramatist and recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence, whose repertoire of published works depicts the hard work of a great man, devoted to a lifetime of writing, knowledge and promotion of the indigenous culture of the Ijaw nation.
Acknowledging that Prof. J.P. Clark’s exit has, indeed, left an indelible mark in the literary world, “President Buhari takes solace that his body of literary works, which earned him recognition and respect both at home and abroad, would continue to inspire upcoming Nigerian writers to pursue literary excellence and flourish in their chosen vocation.
“The President’s thoughts and prayers are with the family of the departed patriot, the government and people of Delta State and the literary community in the country.”