Nigerian foremost playwright, scholar and literary giant, Professor Femi Osofisan, has been formally inducted as the winner of the prestigious Thalia Award by the UNESCO global partner in the Performing Arts – the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC).
The event, which was attended by over 150 world authorities in theatre criticism from 66 countries, took place on Tuesday, 27th September, 2016, at about 3:00pm Nigeria time, in the German Embassy in Serbia.
H.E. Chijioke Mchardy Ani (Head of Nigerian Mission in Serbia) and H.E. Mr. Heinz Georg Wilhelm (German Ambassador to Serbia) led the cream of the international community, who witnessed the glamorous event.
Osofisan has by the feat become the first African to be so recognized by the respected Thalia Award Committee. The Thalia Award is a unique professional honour next only to the Nobel Prize for Literature, which Prof. Wole Soyinka won in 1986.
Unlike the situation where a prophet is not recognized in his home, en route Belgrade to be installed as a Thalia laureate, the African continent had her opportunity to showcase Femi Osofisan, as its leading dramatist through an impressive ceremony in Egypt.
On the 20th September, he was honoured as one of the Icons of African Theatre at the 2016 edition of the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre. This also came few months after the Pan African Writers Association honoured Osofisan for his contributions to literary development of the African continent.
Osofisan, in his acceptance speech as Thalia laureate, thanked the organizers for the life changing honour that has shifted global attention to African Theatre and Literature, which he believes has a lot more to offer humanity and the emerging global knowledge economy.
Also in the Nigerian delegation to Belgrade were Prof. Olu Obafemi (President, Nigeria Academy of Letters), Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura (President, IATC-Nigeria), Prof. Biodun Jayifo (Harvard University), Prof. Adenike Osofisan (U.I and wife to Thalia laureate), and Mrs. Rhoda Dandaura (IATC-Nigeria).
Emmanuel S. Dandaura
President, IATC-Nigeria & 1st African Rep. on IATC Exco