Actor Sam Shepard Dies At 73

Actor and Pulitzer-winning playwright Sam Shepard has died at the age of 73.

He died from complications related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a representative for his family said on Monday.

Shepard, 73, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his play ‘Buried Child’ died at home in Kentucky on Thursday, surrounded by his family, spokesman Chris Boneau said in a statement.

‘Buried Child’ was the story of a family’s tragic secret and, like many of his works touched on disillusionment and broken families. His other plays included ‘True West’, ‘Curse of the Starving Class’ and ‘Fool for Love’.

Shepard earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of test pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff.” He also appeared in dozens of other films, including “August: Osage County,” “The Notebook,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Steel Magnolias.”

Most recently, he played patriarch Robert Rayburn in three seasons of Netflix’s thriller “Bloodline” and released a novel, “The One Inside,” in February.

Nigerian Govt. Has Inherited A Heavy Baggage – Wole Soyinka

SoyinkaNobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka believes the Nigerian government inherited a burden that may take a while to lessen but it must sustain efforts at improving the economy.

This comes as Nigeria assesses the Buhari administration after one year in office.

He was speaking to Channels Television in Johannesburg where he is expected to speak at a public lecture entitled Politics, Culture and the New Africa.

“This administration has inherited a heavy baggage. While I am critical in some aspects of the priority, I think that to clear up the mess left by previous administrations is going to take quite a while especially in the sector of economy.

“So I don’t use words like optimism or pessimism, I’m just pragmatic. I look at what there is on the ground and of course wherever I can intervene, I do both privately and publicly,” he said.

Kole OmotosoRenowned Nigerian author and playwright, Professor Kole Omotoso, also said that the current administration has ticked a number of little things but there must be more effort to alleviate the sufferings of the people.

“We are going in the right direction but in the process, we need to do so many things. We need to look at not just the suffering of the people but the way people seem to indulge in bearing suffering.

“It is as if even if you try to solve the problem for them they will prefer to be suffering and smiling,” Prof. Omotoso said.

Age Is A Crippling Disease – J.P. Clark

J.P. Clark, one of Africa’s greatest poets and playwrights, turned 80 recently. In line with his birthday, a series of events were put together to celebrate his incredible life and works.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Book Club, Mr Clark spoke about his feelings on turning 80, saying “age is a crippling disease.”

Funke Egbemode, the current general editor of The Sun Publishing Limited and a director with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, recently launched a book titled, Conversations With My Country which is a compilation of some of her writings on different national issues.

Foremost writer Seffi Atta, recently presented a staged reading of bigger and better, a new play directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa. Originally written for radio, Bigger And Better is a commentary on materialism in Lagos society that follows a rivalry between two friends over their fiftieth birthday party plans. The event is to earn money for charity through the support of volunteer readers.

Also, a brief chat with Koko Kalango, the winner of the 2014 UNESCO world book capital city bid for Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, was featured. She gave up some updates on events to expect as Nigeria becomes the world’s focus as far as celebrating literature is concerned.