A Nigerian playwright and academic, Prof. Sam Ukala of the famed “Folkism theory – …the tendency to base literary plays on the history, culture, and concerns of the folk” is dead.
He died in the early hours of Monday, September 13 at the age of 73. Ukala hails from Ika Nation of Delta North Senatorial District. He was a poet, short story writer, actor, theatre director and film producer and a Professor of Theatre Arts and Drama at Delta State University, Abraka, until his recent retirement.
Ukala was also Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at a number of Nigerian universities, including Edo State University, Iyamho.
In 1993/94, as an academic staff fellow, he researched and taught at the School of English Workshop Theatre of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
Prof. Ukala was the Chairman of the Delta State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
His published plays include “The Slave Wife”, “The Log in Your Eye”, “Akpakaland” (winner of the 1989 ANA/British Council Prize for Drama), and “Break a Boil”.
He won the 2014 prestigious “NLNG Literature Prize” with his play, “Iredi” which beat other 124 entries for the USD100,000 prize.
He was recently honoured with the prestigious Professor Emeritus by Delta State University; one of the three in Delta State.
Prior to his joining the academia, he worked briefly as a Human Resource Manager with Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (WRPC), Ekpan Delta State.