Author Topic: G.G. Darah: The oracle of oral literature at 70! Messages from Friends and Colle  (Read 5743 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SIR A-ONE

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1691
  • Karma: +14/-92
  • Reading & Surfing the internet
    • View Profile
    • www.Pengician.com
G.G. Darah: The oracle of oral literature at 70! Messages from Friends and Colleagues

By Okofu Ubaka Umamuli

For his commitment African oral literature, the name G.G. Darah comes to every student of this discipline as a sphinx. To his protégées, Darah personifies the unfading matrix of myths and the charming aesthetics of dance songs.

This versatile professor of oral literature of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University, Abraka has, over the last three decades or so, has displayed an uncommon exemplum for hard work and polyvalence. His uncommon zest to sustain African oral literature has placed him on the same dais with the likes of Adeboye Babalola, J.P Clark, Isidore Okpewho and Oyin Ogunba.

From his student’s days at the University of Ibadan, where he was engaged as a lecturer, to his brief sojourn with Ogunba at Ife, Darah stands out of contemporaries, and to acknowledge his dexterity for hard work and literary activism, his mentees, friends and colleagues would be rolling out the drums on November 22 to celebrate his 70th birthday. Regrettably, Darah may take a bow from active academic services shortly.

African oral literature in the 1970s was unpopular as it suffered misrepresentation and prejudice, particularly in an attempt to confine it to the domain of history and ‘just’ an aspect of African religious studies. It is in the light of this that we must acknowledge the sacrifices of Adeboye Babalola, Ruth Finnegan, J.P Clark, Isidore Okpewho, Kofi Awoonor, Oyin Ogunba, Darah, Nkem Okoh and Tanure Ojaide who gave their all to put African oral literature in the public domain.

From the time of the Ife intellectual intercourse under the auspices of Oyin Ogunba of blessed memory, to the inauguration of the Nigeria Oral Literature Association (NOLA) in 2010 by Darah, it has been the aspiration of the latter to sustain African oral literature.

I first met this fine professor on the pages of newspapers during the tenure of Governor James Onanefe Ibori of Delta State (1999-2008). When fate made it possible for us to cross paths in 2012 as a postgraduate student who would work directly under the supervision of Darah at the Department of English and Literary Studies, DELSU, Abraka, I was prepared to make the most of the academic intercourse.

That morning of March 16, 2012, I had deliberately sat on the front row of a class of 22 students to avail myself a vintage view should the man who was going to change my perception of life arrive for the lecture. But Darah came quietly into the lecture hall, and I was amazed by his huge humility.

Darah has consistently expressed worries over the poor interest in oral performances as a result of technological invention and sheer neglect of these heirlooms in pursuit of vainglories. He addressed this anomaly in several of his works, particularly in “The Folktale is Dead; Long Live Storytelling” (2014). Like Achebe’s “What has Literature got to do with it?” (2008), Darah clearly points out that we must give literature a pride of place.

The nostalgia of the Great Ife intellectual assemble, which holds every Monday at the African Studies Centre, has been Darah’s driving force to ensure that oral literature gets a boost in Nigeria. It was not until the inauguration of NOLA that oral literature became robust and thriving even though more remains to be done in the area of documentation and safeguarding our heritages.

The academic odyssey of Darah is incomplete without a mention of his pivotal research on Urhobo dance songs. He did a doctoral (PhD) thesis on those unique dance songs at the University of Ibadan then in 1982 and actually began putting those songs together early in the 1970s. However, one has to admit that J.P Clark was the first to have written on Udje in his epochal essay, “Poetry of the Urhobo Dance in Nigeria” (1965). Yet, Darah is the first oral literature scholar to have carried out a comprehensive field work on Udje dance songs. Darah emphasizes that Udje is a war or battle
He loves reading and surfing the internet.

Offline SIR A-ONE

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1691
  • Karma: +14/-92
  • Reading & Surfing the internet
    • View Profile
    • www.Pengician.com
Continuation:

songs between two warring groups or two warring communities (Darah, 2005). However, one is tempted to argue that Darah’s work on Udje is restrictive in the extent to which the dance songs could be maximized as a vehicle for social control.

Darah’s commitment to preserving those songs culminated in the documentation on Udje into a book, “Battles Of Songs: Udje Tradition of the Urhobo (2005)”. But particularly disturbing is the fact that all that most students of oral literature know about Udje and several other indigenous dance songs is what they have read and studied in classroom situation. It will be a ‘great expectation’ that such students witness a performance of the highly spiritual Udje songs on November 22 in honour of Darah at DELSU, Abraka.

Omauli Esq. holds a master’s degree in literature from the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University.
He loves reading and surfing the internet.

Offline SIR A-ONE

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1691
  • Karma: +14/-92
  • Reading & Surfing the internet
    • View Profile
    • www.Pengician.com
Prof. G.G Darah @70

On behalf of entire Niger Delta Youth Council worldwide, I want to profoundly congratulate and celebrate a father, mentor, rare gem, role model, a pen writer, erudite Scholar, folklorist, editor, Pro Niger Delta activist on resources control & true federalism, Prof Godini Gabriel Darah, a foremost professor of African Oral literature in Nigeria as he clocks seventy years today.

Note: Prof G G Darah will be retiring from the Department of English and Literary Studies, Delta State University, Abraka. He has distinguished himself as a compelling scholar of oral literature at foremost universities in the world, including Nigeria's premier University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University.

Sir, we are proud of you, serving selflessly and in humility. We pray God to continue to strengthen, protect and preserve you for many years  ahead.

More grace.
Happy Birthday sir. 

Comr. Sunny Utuedor, Spokesperson, Niger Delta Youth Council worldwide.
He loves reading and surfing the internet.

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
Professor G G Darah is 70 and all persons of goodwill should rise up to celebrate him. He is an erudite scholar and humanist. His love for the Niger Delta struggle for resource control is unparalleled. He loves his family and his people. As he marks this milestone, I join his many fans and admirers in celebrating this towering icon.
Joshua Omonemu

Happy birthday Prof. G. G. Darah(the first senior prefect of St. Vincent college okwagbe) more age with grace, favour and protection of the Lord
Mughogho Godspower
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 10:06:35 AM by Pengician »

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com

Abeg hail Prof for us here. He is a pacesetter and a bridgebuilder
Igho Kuvie Igho Benson

Prof, Godini Gabriel Darah  an academic hippopotamus, a great thinker, a philosopher, a culturalist, a nationalist, a folklorist, a resource control guru, an Urhobo cosmologist, a national conference activist, a social justice crusader and a God fearing personality is 70 today. Happy birthday and many more years to spread your humanist work on earth. Very Rev Fr Chris Vwavware Ekabo

All hail Professor Godini Gabriel Darah - A Quintessential Oral Literary Giant, at 70.
May the Almighty God continue to Bless and Protect you for the good of your Family, the Urhobo Nation, Nigeria, and the World at large. Amen.
Congratulations sir!
Dr Tedwins Emudainohwo


« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 02:34:11 PM by Pengician »

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
G. G. Darah, the Ogberianrien @ three score and 10

By Sunny Awhefeada


When the history of Nigeria is given bold relief by future historians, Professor Godini Gabriel (GG) Darah will feature as one of the nation’s greatest minds for all times. Once described by the redoubtable poet, Professor Niyi Osundare as “the fertile minded don from Ife”, (he is now from Abraka ooo) Darah is an intellectual maestro.
He turns 70 today, November 22, 2017. A remarkably brilliant teacher, journalist and administrator, Darah broke the cocoon of existential circumstances when he entered the University of Ibadan in 1970. Before, Ibadan, the young Godini’s haunt was the creeks of the Niger Delta particularly in the Urhobo riverine communities of Esaba, Okwagbe and Oginibo. His brilliance was the liberating force which wrested him from the hindrances which defined creek life in the Niger Delta.

After secondary education at St. Vincent’s College, Okwagbe, Darah was at the Federal Government College, Warri for the Higher School Certificate (HSC), before entering the University of Ibadan where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1973. Like many Nigerians of his generation, Darah’s Ibadan years were his most defining moment for that was the period when Ibadan was really Ibadan and the universe was truly in that university! The campus, we were told, was a mix of sublime minds who genuinely sought and acquired knowledge.


The unforgettable intellectual ferment of the post-Civil War era of the 1970s coincided with the flourishing of Marxism as an ideological movement in the Nigerian academia. The ideology which interrogates economic and power relations and how they undermine the existence of the downtrodden appealed to Darah’s an indigene of the exploited Niger Delta that had started writhing from the bourgeoning capitalist exploitation fostered by the Federal Government and foreign oil multinationals. With infectious teacher-comrades like Omafume Onoge, Ola Oni, Bade Onimode, Biodun Jeyifo, among others to draw inspiration from, Darah immersed himself in the credo of Marxism and became a leading light of the movement first as a student and later as a university don.

Darah’s apprehension of Marxism aspires beyond its ideological representation to its application as a critical tool in the evaluation of the indigenous oral artistic tradition of his Urhobo people. Quite early in his career as a researcher and teacher, Darah devoted a lot of energy to the exegesis of the various verbal art forms of the Urhobo. The most significant of his academic endeavours is his landmark study on Udje which earned him the Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Ibadan in 1982. After studying and teaching briefly at Ibadan, he relocated to the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).

By the time he moved to Ife in 1978, Ibadan had capitulated to the assault of military barbarism represented by the General Olusegun Obasanjo junta. Since, the junta’s full repressive attention was on Ibadan, the leftist movement thrived at Ife quite distant and removed from the brutal arms of the military buccaneers. Darah’s kindred spirits at Ife included Jeyifo, Segun Osoba, Dipo Fasina, Adebayo Williams and many more. From Ife, these radicals held aloft the banner of progressive scholarship for the emancipation of the Nigerian masses. Whether they succeeded or not is a subject for another discourse.

 
Loading ad   
The 1980s was momentous for Darah and the radical movement. The abysmal failure of the Shagari government (1979-1983) and the derailment of democratic rule from 1984 created many battlefronts for the leftists. By 1986 the Babangida regime left nobody in doubt regarding its avowed mandate to liquidate the progressives. As Nigeria’s reincarnation of Mussolini, Babangida did irreparable damage to the ranks of the progressives. The regression of Communism in Eastern Europe, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and Babangida’s assault on the universities sounded the death knell on Nigeria’s ideological ferment. In the aftermath of the ruckus of Babangidance many of the ideologues sought refuge beyond the Ivory Towers that had lost their ivory to military masochism.


The foregoing reality forced many scholars to migrate abroad. Darah left the classroom for the newsroom at the defunct Daily Times in 1990. His sojourn in journalism had begun. He became the Chairman of the paper’s editorial board and brought a considerable measure of his literary finesse and intellectual rigour to what the newspaper offered her readers. Darah moved on to join The Guardian newspaper as a member of its highly acclaimed editorial board which he later chaired. While practicing as a journalist, he put his knack for activism to work by being in the vanguard of anti-military rule movement that finally sent the soldiers packing in 1999.

Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999 and Darah continued the struggle for the economic emancipation of the Niger Delta through intellectual advocacy. He delivered lectures and wrote essays which gave substance to the Niger Delta struggle. His advocacy of true federalism and resource control is what has now been fashionably labeled as restructuring. The new democratic order not only saw Darah returning to the classroom as a professor at the Delta State University, Abraka in 2001, but it also created a new role for him as an intellectual in government. Darah was appointed to serve as Special Adviser and later as Chief of Staff to the Delta State Government between 2003 and 2007.

He returned to the classroom at Abraka in July 2007 and continued his work as a teacher and researcher. This is the essence of Darah, the teacher as dispenser of knowledge per excellence! Darah is an inspiring teacher with prodigious knowledge. Whatever he does not know is probably not worth knowing. It was for this reason that he was conferred with the chieftaincy of Ogberianrien (the giant of knowledge) by the Okobaro of Ughievwen. As he turns seventy our wish for him is kukpe kukpe oye amre egodi!

Dr. Awhefeada teaches literature at the Delta State University, Abraka.

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
Prof. G. G Darah: The Ogberianrien one of Urhobo land @ 70
By Charity Oghenebrorhie Ejovwo
08110634751

It was a day like this you were born, thanks be to the Almighty God for preserving your life, you have been a huge influence on Urhobo, especially through your expertise. People often think that the path to becoming a prof is so hard, but you have shown that it's easy through dedication and determination. The good thing about you is that you are not just a professor in the academics. But also in the line of aspect of training young ones to be responsible and Godly. We are blessed to have a person that put so much sacrifice into research to make life easier for others. Happy birthday sir, as you clock a year plus today, May you increase in all areas and may more knowledge be accustomed to you to solve world's problem.

In every generation God has deposited generals, to be a mandate to his people. Leaders are everywhere but great leaders of high esteem and admirable, leaders who are diplomatic, pragmatic, articulate, considerate and innovative are a rare gem in our societies.
Among the old, he is a worthy son, among the youths he is a general, and among the masses he is a mouth piece and the people's mandate.
I celebrate you this day sir as God add yet another year to your numbers of years.

I called Prof G.G Darah a Visionary: The mark of a true visionary is his ability to imagine the future and act on it, yielding great results in the process and then using this success for the benefit of others.
A Leaders who instilled in his people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. A Positive leader who has empowered his people to accomplish their goals.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU SIR.

From Mayor Akpobome Ezekiel Okpako  (National Coordinator I Hope In Christ Foundation & Secretary General of Urhobowoood Organization )

Happy 3 scores and 1 decade to our quintessential PROF.
May you age with grace in Jesus name, amen.
CONGRATULATIONS from all of us @
PLATINUM MEDIA NIGERIA (PMN )
Comr Timothy Ogheneovo Emorhakpor.
Reporter in Chief.


Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
HBD+LLNP Professor G.G. Darah

As You Clock 70 today, may d good Lord protect You and your households.

More years of celebrations...

Cheers!!!

Engr Eyefia E. Kelvin


Professor G.G Darah is + 1 today

My dear friends join me to celebrate my academic father Professor Gabriel Godini Darah in the occasion of his Birthday Anniversary today.

Prof G. G. Darah is an eloquent public intellectual, founding president of the Nigeria Oral literature Association(NOLA), former Chief of Staff at Delta State Government House and Former Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Guardian Newspaper.

Sir, I wish you long life and prosperity as you mark your Birthday today.

Once Again Congratulation our National academician. THE ORACLE OF ORAL ENGLISH.

Sharparly A. E. Omokpe
National Ajuwe emeritus 001

Offline PMCBOT

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Proud to be a member of WidestForum. I'm here to learn & to dish out knowledge.
    • View Profile
Words are not enough to describe a legend of literature, Prof. Godini G.Darah:
A father to all
A friend to all
And a brother to all.

 At 70, he has just started the race of life. We know he is going to do more for this country Nigeria especially the Urhobo Nation at larger.


Happy birthday once more. God will shower His blessings and the wisdom of king Solomon upon you, Prof!

Boyd Kingsley Oghobaghase
Councillorship Candidate,
Ward 3,
Erho, Urhovie & Ajanomi,
Ethiope East LGA.

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
The Ologẹ Grows Taller

Ọsẹ, e gron vrẹ ologẹẹ
Nonẹ ẹdẹ wẹn
Ọghẹnẹ mawẹn phiyọ ọchuko
Wẹ ghine rhọvwọ ẹdia na
Obo obenu wọ ra
Egron egron kọye wo gron
Omamọ ẹdẹ uvwiẹ kẹ wẹ.
Akpobọmẹ Diffrẹ-Odiete

Happy birthday great professor of professors! Having you in our generation is one the greatest thing that have ever happen us and to me in particular. The first computer set I first seen when I was much younger was brought to our primary school by Prof. And also my first encounter with white men(iyibo), great kings from great kingdoms around the country and other great personalities, politicians and businessmen from within and outside the country was by him. I'm talking about growing up in our village called Esaba. I was highly motivated by the stories told about him in relation to his academic excellent, leadership and impact to society. My mother always motivate us to study by  making reference of him. She love telling us a story about him of a particular exam that he wrote at Otughevwien (Jeremi). That, the exam supposed last for two hours but Prof finished up with all the questions in less than half of the time. Because of this, the examiner seized his script claiming that he must have cheated. To justify it all, he was given the opportunity to write again and to the amazement of all instead of been confused and destabilized he finished up again before other students even starts summiting their works. Actually Prof is a blessing to our community Esaba, the country and the world generally. I'm saying this, every student and young individual that want to make impact in life and career must have some thing to hold on to and learn from him. Even as he mark the day of his birth today, I pray the Almighty God to bless him with his heart desires and grant unto him more strength, peace of mind and more grace to continuously impacting life and the world with the great inherent virtues in him. I got your back ose re eriarien. Carry go with the fight of resource control and true federalism and the advocacy for betterment of the Niger Delta.

I cherish you Sir.

Felix Awolowo Muayor

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
Read on
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 11:23:17 PM by Pengician »

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
To A Role Model, Prof. G.G Darah @ 70

By Azubuike Avwerosuo Trust (07032814366).

Let me begin this short tribute by saying happy birthday to a record breaker, a testimony to his generation of socialists, a friend and a father to all, Professor Godini Gabriel Darah, a professor of oral literature and folklore at the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka

There is a saying, a man cannot call himself a great man until he has made others great. Sir, you have affected lives. Please permit me to address you as a legend for your memories will never be forgotten. Yes, it is true that not all must like you but at least you have attained the height of a good name is better than riches.

 Although I know you from a distance but the way you smile when answering greetings really amazes me.

 You can't work forever sir, that is why you need to retire. Your Retirement is an evidence of a good life well spent, a time to rest and a time to enjoy the fruits of all your intellectual labours.

At the milestone age of seventy; you are not just a year older but a year better, a year fulfilled and a year wiser. For someone to celebrate a birthday anniversary, he or she must know why or what the celebration is all about. Sir, you have every reason to celebrate because you have achieved and accomplished what several persons at your age couldn't. Your parents, dead or alive are proud of you, your siblings are proud of you, your wife is proud of you, your children are proud of you, and those yet unborn are proud of you, urhobo ancestors are proud of you, Urhobo sons and daughters are proud of you, Delta State University, Abraka is proud of you, students of Faculty of Arts are proud of you, the long exploited Niger Delta region is proud of you are advocating her cause for, more than three dacades now, Nigeria you put in global acclaim through your dedicated interventions is proud of you, in fact the whole world have no choice but to be proud of you!!!

 Once more happy birthday, Sir!!!

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
Prof G. G. Darah, a man of many parts. A light to  his contemporary Urhobo men.  A man of outstanding and amiable principles. He stands out as an elder statesman,  an Urhobo general whom the upcoming generation of Urhobo men should emulate in family life, academics, character and moral rectitude. He never fails to signify his nationality as an Urhobo as every thing he does is spiced up with Urhobo. What a patriot. Ose we are proud of you and we count it a great privilege to have met you personally. We therefore celebrate you 🤸🏼‍♂🤸🏼‍♂🤸🏼‍♂as you clock 70 and enter into a new phase of fulfilling destiny. Hip hip hip hooray. 🥂

Mrs Emuobonuvie Maria Ajiboye

Offline Pengician

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 364
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • I'm a creative icon in the labouratory of Life.
    • View Profile
    • www.pengician.com
Special Birthday Wishes For Professor Godini Gabriel Darah

Happy birthday to a wonderful leader. The encyclopedia of Urhobo historical development. May you live long for us to continue gulping from your ocean of knowledge.

- Professor Temi Akporhonor

 

Do you want your ADVERT on our website? Contact us [08063562857]. And you will be glad you did!