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Nigerian Playwright Professor Akinwunmi Isola dies at 79

Akinwunmi Isola died Saturday morning in Ibadan, Oyo State at the age of 79.

He was known for popular plays like Oleku, Koseegbe & Efunsetan Aniwura all of which were made into motion pictures by filmmaker, Tunde Kelani
.

May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Read below some tributes pouring in in his honour on social media. First tribute is by Dele Momodu:

Sad to receive the news that Nigeria has lost the legendary writer PROF AKINWUNMI ISOLA, my former lecturer & supervisor; author of O LE KU and EFUNSETAN ANIWURA and others… Rest in Peace Sir…

Professor Akinwunmi Isola is dead lailasnews 2

The one time we visited Prof Akinwunmi Isola, was so nice. His yoruba so smooth, house was all shades of Art too. Great baba

We lost one of our culture activist..Professor Akinwunmi Isola. Your memory lives on sir ☹️

Professor Akinwunmi Isola (b. Ibadan) is a Nigerian playwright, actor, dramatist, culture activist and scholar. He is known for his writing in, and his work in promoting, the Yoruba language.

He was born in Ibadan in 1939, attended Labode Methodist School and Wesley College.

He studied at the University of Ibadan, earning a B. A. in French. He also earned an M.A. in Yoruba literature from the University of Lagos in 1978 before commencing academic work as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University.

Isola wrote his first play, Efunsetan Aniwura, during 1961 and 1962 whilst still a student at the University of Ibadan.

This was followed by the novel O Leku. His play proved popular, and one performance in Ibadan was watched by forty thousand people.

Also, in 1986, he wrote and composed the college anthem that is currently being sung in Wesley College Ibadan.

Since then, he has written a number of plays and novels. He also broke into broadcasting, creating a production company that has turned a number of his plays into television dramas and films.

Though he claims that ‘my target audience are Yorubas’, Isola has also written in English and translated to Yoruba.

In 2000, in recognition of his immense contributions, he was awarded the National Merit Award and the Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. He was also visiting professor at the University of Georgia.

He wrote a play titled Olu Omo. This was published May 1983 by Onibonoje Press & Book industries (Nig.) Ltd.

Before his death, Akinwunmi Isola was happily married and had four children.

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