The popular Ibadan-born foremost playwright, dramatist and actor, Prof Akinwumi Ishola is dead.
Akinwunmi Isola died Saturday morning February 17, 2018 in Ibadan, Oyo State at the age of 79.
According to a family sources, Ishola, who wrote the popular play, Efunsetan Aniwura, when he was a student of the University of Ibadan in 1961, died in Ibadan after age-related ailment.
Reports have it that Baba Ishola had been sick for some time and was getting better. But this morning, he died peacefully.
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. He was appointed Professor at the same University in 1991.
Ishola 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.