• Categories: Literature
  • Gender: Male
  • Birth Country: Uganda
Okot p'Bitek
Okot p'Bitek (7 June 1931 – 20 July 1982) was a Ugandan Ugandan poet, novelist, and social anthropologist, who achieved wide international recognition for "Song of Lawino", a long poem addresses the issue of the conflict of cultures. The poem, originally written in Acholi the language was published in 1966. It was a breakthrough work, creating an audience amongst Anglophone Africans for direct, topical poetry in English; and incorporating traditional attitudes and thinking in an accessible yet faithful literary vehicle. The East African Song School or Okot School poetry is now an academic identification of the work following his direction, also popularly called "comic singing": A forceful type of dramatic verse monologue rooted in traditional song and phraseology. Okot p'Bitek was born in Gulu, in the North Uganda. His background was Acholi, and he wrote first in Lwo, a Western Nilotic language. He was educated at Gulu High School, then King's College, Budo, and later at universities in the United Kingdom. At school he was noted as a singer, dancer, drummer and athlete; he composed and directed an opera while at college.