Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho

Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho
Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho

Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho  : Isidore Okpewho was born on 9th November, 1941, in Agbor, Delta state, Nigeria. His Urhobo father, David Okpewho, was from Abraka, in Delta State, a retired Senior Laboratory Technician, and his Igbo mother was from Asaba. Subsequently pursuing his Doctorate in the US, he became an academic there, teaching at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York form 1974, to 1976, University of Ibadan, from 1976 to 1990, Harvard University from 1990 to 1991, and Binghamton University.

Prolific in his output, Okpewho wrote, co-wrote and edited some 14 books, dozens of articles and a seminal booklet, A portrait of the Artist as a scholar (an inaugural Lecture Theatre, university of Ibadan, on 18th May, 1989).

He is the author of four respected novels, which are widely studied in Africa and other part of the world, and translated into other Languages.

Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho

His works are

The Victims (1970)

The Last Duty (1976)

Tides (1993)

The Epic in Africa (1979)

Myth in Africa (1983)

Call me By my Rightful Name (2004)

In the words of Niyi Osundare:  Novelist, Poet, Folklorist, Scholar, and University administrator, Okpewho, was a jack of many trades, and master of all, who left his mind – prints on virtually every aspect of African literature and literary studies. With his foundational books, The Topic in Africa and Myth in Africa, Okpewho summoned all his scholarly prowess as a truly First Class classics scholar and carved out a niche for African Oral love and its inexhaustible possibilities at a time when virtually every claim to high culture and intellectual accomplishment was denied to the “Dark Continent. (24)

Career and Achievements

Isidore Okpewho began his career as a lecturer at the University of Lagos, where he taught English and Comparative Literature. He later joined the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a professor of African literature. Okpewho was a prolific writer and researcher, focusing on African literature, oral tradition, and folklore.

One of his most notable achievements was the publication of his groundbreaking book, “The Vision of Utopia in African Literature” (1976). This work explored the theme of utopia in African literature and its connection to the African cultural and historical context. Okpewho’s other significant contributions include his edited volume, “African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory” (1983), which brought together a comprehensive collection of essays on African literature, and his extensive research on the oral tradition in Africa.

In addition to his academic career, Okpewho was a prominent figure in the promotion of African literature and culture. He was a founding member of the African Literature Association and served as its president in 1986.

Bio-data of Isidore Okpewho

Awards and Honors

Isidore Okpewho received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the prestigious Nigerian National Order of Merit in 1985. He was also awarded the Nigerian National Honour, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), in 1991. Okpewho’s contributions to African literature and scholarship were widely recognized, and he was honored with several international awards and fellowships.


Isidore Okpewho passed away on January 12, 2016. His legacy continues to live on through his significant contributions to African literature, scholarship, and the promotion of African culture. He remains an inspiration to many scholars and researchers in the field of African literature, and his works continue to be influential in shaping the study and understanding of African literature and culture.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.