By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Wole Adedoyin, the President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) has joined the rest of Nigerians in celebrating Dr. Wale Okediran, a former President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) on the occasion of his 65th birthday.
This was contained in a press release issued and signed by the President of the Society in Ibadan on Monday. SYNW joined friends and literary associates of Dr. Wale Okediran, the Founder and the Director of Ebedi International Writers Residency to felicitate with him on his 65th birthday.
According to the release “We appreciate you for all the lives you have imparted positively through your literary initiative, Ebedi International Writers Residency. SYNW President being one of the beneficiaries. You nominated him for the 2017 Study Abroad in Lebanon (SAIL) Program organized by the Wole Soyinka Foundation in conjunction with the Notre Dame University and Cedars Institute in Lebanon. You also nominated four of our members to participate in your Residency Program and single handedly funded our first national reading project tagged “Read Across Nigeria (RAN) which took place in twenty two states of the Federation which was used to mark your 61st birthday in 2016. This special day gives us an opportunity to personally thank you for the contributions you have made to the development of our literary organization and creative writing in Nigeria. There are leaders but you are a true leader. We have fathers but you are just outstanding, we have so many dreamers but you are among the few visionaries, Many people rule but you lead by example, other leaders do noble things but you surpass them all. Throughout your tenures as ANA President, you shown yourself to be a man of hard work, dedication and principle. Words alone cannot express our joy that has assumed a huge proportion. “Happy birthday and many more you”. Your days are blessed sir.”
Wale Okediran was born on April 14 1955 in Oyo, Nigeria. He attended the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) where he qualified in April 1980 as a Medical doctor.
After working in a number of government and private hospitals for a number of years, he went into private medical practice in 1987 by establishing the Cornerstone Medical Centre in Ibadan. He remained in active private practice until 1999 when he went into active politics and was appointed Chairman, Oyo State North Hospitals Management Board. He remained in this position until 2003 when he contested for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives, Abuja where he represented his constituency from Oyo state from 2004 till 2007.
His writing career started way back in his secondary school where he was an active member of the school’s press club and debating society. At the University of Ife, he edited a campus newspaper, Rip Off”. He has published till date twelve novels out of which nine are adult fiction and three are for children. Many of the books are on the reading lists of several Nigerian Universities such as the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nasarawa State University and University of Maiduguri among others.
In his positions as the National Treasurer, General Secretary and later National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors, he contributed in no mean measure to the development of Literature in Nigeria through the establishments of ANA branches, organisation of Literary Seminars, Conferences and Publications.
In June 2010, together with a few friends, he established the first Writers Resort in Nigeria ;The Ebedi International Writers Resort in Iseyin, Oyo State. The Ebedi International Writers Residency is a private initiative for writers to complete their ongoing works in a conducive environment at no cost. Since its inception, in 2012, the facility has hosted more than 100 writers from 10 different African countries. It also offers publishing opportunities to its Fellows through an arrangement with one of Nigeria’s foremost publishing outfit, the Literamed Publishers, Oregun Lagos.
He is currently a Consultant to the National Assembly in charge of the Senate Committee on Health and the House Committee on HIV, Malaria and TB.
His Publications include:
• Rainbows Are For Lovers (Spectrum Books 1987)
• The Boys At The Border (Spectrum Books 1991). Shortlist for the 1992 Commonwealth
• Storms of Passion (Evans, 1995)
• The Rescue of Uncle Babs (Mcmillan, 1998) Winner of the 1999 ANA/Matatu Prize for Children’s Literature.
• Ten novellettes on the HIV/AIDS theme (Longman, 2001)
• Sighs of Desire (Caltop, 2002)
• Dreams Die At Twilight (Malthouse ,2002) Longlist for the 2004 NLNG Literature Prize. The
• book was also adjudged as one of the 25 best books in Nigeria in the last 25 years by Spectrum Books in 2004.
• Strange Encounters (Heinemann PLC, 2004) Winner of the 2005 ANA Prize for fiction.
• After The Flood (Longman Nig Ltd, 2005)
• The Weaving Looms (Kraft Books 2005) Shortlist for the 2008 Wole Soyinka Prize For African Literature.
• The Riot And Other Stories (Mosuro Books, 2006)
• Tenants Of The House (Nelson Books, 2009) Co-Winner of the 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature.
• Madagali (Evans PLC, 2020).
His collaborative works include, Human Rights Educational Book for Children (Amnesty Int, Nig 1995) and Encyclopedia of Post Colonial Literature in English (Routledge,11 New Fetter Lane, London)