John Pepper Clark, a Nigerian poet and playwright better known as JP Clark, is dead at 85.
Ilaye and C.C Clark, two members of his family, broke the news in a statement obtained by TheCable Lifestyle.
It was said the literary genius died in the early hours of Tuesday, although the cause of his death wasn’t disclosed.
“The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen,” the family wrote in part.
“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children, and siblings, around him. The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family.”
Born on April 6, 1935, Clarke had graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI) in 1960 where he studied English.
Upon finishing his studies, he had worked as an information officer in the Ministry of Information for the old Western Region of Nigeria. He later worked as a research fellow at the Institute of African Studies also in UI.
Clark received several awards including the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence in 1991.
Some of his dramatic works include ‘Song of a Goat’ (1961), ‘The Raft’ (1964), ‘Ozidi’ (1966), and ‘The Boat (1981).