The literary community, and indeed all of Nigeria was cast into mourning Sunday following the death of renowned poet and winner of the 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature, Ikeogu Oke.
Oke died in Abuja after an illness on Saturday at the age of 51. Details of his death are yet to be clear.
He shot to nationwide prominence in 2017 when he won the Nigeria Prize for Literature for his book, The Heresiad.
He was presented with a cheque of $100,000 (N37m) by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited.
His poems and other writings have appeared in journals, anthologies and other publications worldwide.
He also performed his poems at various fora across Africa and the United States, and Nigerians have taken to Twitter to express their sadness at his passing.
"Here lies a man who loved virtue and art,
And gave to both his fortunes and his heart."
– Ikeogu Oke
(1967 – 2018)
Good night you, library walking into the dark unforgiving night. You lived it on your own terms, and wrote about it on your own terms.
Good night. pic.twitter.com/6igzpkovii
— Pa Ikhide (@ikhide) November 25, 2018
I met Mr Ikeogu at Next newspaper and we bonded like brothers.
I call him Poet Laureate. He simply calls me Nikor.
I can still hear his voice and the joy it exuded as I called to congratulate him for winning the NLNG Prize.
Rest well Poet Laureate! https://t.co/lR9cy6Ukt4
— Nicholas Ibekwe (@nicholasibekwe) November 25, 2018
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. – John Doone. It was pure shock to learn today that Ikeogu Oke is dead.
— Tade Ipadeola (@tadepen) November 25, 2018
Devastated by the news of Ikeogu Oke’s passing today. An outstanding poet and performer, he won the 2017 NLNG Prize for Literature. May his soul find peace in that other world.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) November 25, 2018
To the one who has gone
But still lives
(1967 – …) pic.twitter.com/tFJMw0gPFv
— Bukky Shonibare (@BukkyShonibare) November 25, 2018
@Okesisi is still so sad hearing of your demise. My Amiable Bro inlaw, with God you are resting in peace. Good to know you Ikeogu Oke. Farewell Papa Nadine.
— Mary Ngo Bekee (@zykka34) November 26, 2018
I had just the other day found the materials and CD you sent to me in 2006 when you still wore more suits than toga,…words fail me. Fare thee well my friend Ikeogu Oke, you blazed brightly pic.twitter.com/k714SZt1Lt
— okwy (@okwyokeke) November 26, 2018
— David Francis E. (@DavidFrancisef) November 25, 2018
Oke Ikeogu. Poet laureate.
Good night, friend and kindred-poet!
— The Great Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) November 25, 2018
BLACK SUNDAY IN OHAFIA!!
— Abia Breaking News (@abnews247) November 25, 2018