Nairobi Africa wide Network. October, (REFEREED BY PROFESSOR CHRIS WANJALA LUKORITO).
Okot p'Bitek, a novelist, sociologist, philosopher, theologian, footballer, dancer, and above all human being, is internationally recognised as one of Africa's finest poets. He is the author of original poetry, translations of traditional literature, anthropological studies, and other essays. Edward Blishen writes: The biographical facts are themselves remarkable. He was born in 1931 at Gulu in Northern Uganda, and was educated first at Gulu High School and later at one of the most high-flying of Ugandan schools, King's College, Budo. He went on to read education at Bristol, law at Aberystwyth and social anthropology at Oxford: returning to Uganda, he lectured at the University College at Makerere. This academic versatility was matched by considerable athletic skill: among other achievements, he played football for Uganda. A drummer and a dancer, he founded an annual festival of African arts at Gulu. For a while he was Director of the National Cultural Centre in Kampala. From 1952 to 1954, Okot attended a teacher training course at the government training college, Mbarara. While at college, he wrote and produced a student opera. When he completed the training, he taught English and Religious Studies for three years at Sir Samuel Backer's School near Gulu. He liked singing, and was choirmaster at the school.