One of the earliest among practicing modern African poets and a most unorthodox one-time novelist, Gabriel Imomotimi Gbaingbain Okara was born in Bumoundi, Ekpetinma Clan in Yenogoa Local Government Area of Rivers State in the Ijọ country of the Niger Delta in Nigeria on 24 April 1921. He died in Yenagoa on 25 March 2019, at age 97, and was buried in his Bumoundi community, of which his father had been the paramount ruler, Chief (Robert) Samson Gbaingbain Pappah Okara. He was educated at St Peter’s and Proctor’s Memorial School (1926-1935) and later at the Government College of Umuahia and at Yaba Higher College, along with his contemporary T. M. Aluko. When World War II broke out, he joined the British Airways before being transferred to the Gambia.

Upon returning to Nigeria, he

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Citation: Zabus, Chantal. "Gabriel Okara". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 November 2010; last revised 24 October 2022. [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

3402 Gabriel Okara 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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