Ben Okri recieves an Honorary Doctorate from Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Friday 11 December 2020

Nigerian-born and UK-based Ben Okri is a Booker prize-winning, internationally renowned writer with 11 published books and several collections of poetry and essays. He is an acclaimed scholar, whose works have been translated into more than 20 languages around the world.

Okri moved to the UK as a child, where he went to school in London, and returned to Nigeria with his parents on the eve of the Nigerian Civil War in the late 1960s. The war had a defining impact on his life. When he was deemed too young to pursue studies in his desired field of Physics, he spent the summer reading through his father’s library, where he found his true vocation as a writer.

He endured a brief period of homelessness when funding for his scholarship fell through, sometimes living in parks and other times with friends – a period he deemed very important to his work, intensifying his desire to write. He went on to develop an illustrious writing career during which he contributed enormously to the growth and enrichment of African Literature, a contribution that is being honoured by the University through its Faculty of Humanities.

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Latest Book

A Fire in My Head - Ben Okri Latest Book

A Fire in My Head

Poetry (2021) - Apollo

A powerful collection of new and recently completed poems by Ben Okri covering topics of the day, such as the refugee crisis, racism, Obama, the Grenfell Tower fire, and the Corona outbreak. In our times of crisis The mind has its powers This book brings together many of Ben Okri’s most acclaimed and politically charged…