Renowned Yoruba Playwright, Late Prof Akinwunmi Ishola died on Saturday 17th, 2018 at the age of 79 in his Akobo residence in Ibadan after suffering a prolong illness for over two years.
Before his death Akinwumi Ishola was a propagator of Yoruba language, culture, and progenitor of Yoruba literature.
He was a brilliant individual who made Yoruba history popular beyond the shores of Africa. Here are the things you should know about him.
1.)Professor Akinwumi Ishola was born in 1939.
2.)He started his Primary Education at Labode Methodist School and later processed to Wesley College for his Secondary School Education
3.) He gained admission to the University of Ibadan formerly called University College of Ibadan where he studied French. He earned an M.A in Yoruba literature from the University of Lagos in 1978.
4.) Akinwumi Ishola began his career as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University where he delivered lectures in majorly Yoruba language.
5.) He later became a Professor in 1991.
6.) He started as a writer early in life. The renown Yoruba stage play titled: Efunsetan Aniwura was written by him whilst still a student at the University of Ibadan. Fortunately, the play became popular in Ibadan and its enjoyed the attention of over forty thousand people in a single performance.
7.) Efunsetan Aniwura was followed by a novel titled: O Leku. Also, in 1986, he wrote and composed the college anthem that is currently being sung in Wesley College Ibadan. Since then, Akinwumi Ishola has written a number of plays and novels.
8.) Akinwumi Ishola took a dive into broadcasting, creating a production company that turned many of his plays into television dramas and films. Though he claimed his target audience are Yorubas but he also wrote some plays and novels in English and translated to Yoruba.
9.) His works Oleku, Koseegbe, Saworoide, Agogo Eewo and Campus Queen were adopted to film by Kelani.
10.) He was recognised for his immense contributions and was awarded the National Merit Award and the Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters.
11.) Akinwumi worked Closely with Kelani as a member of a trio of late Adebayo Faleti and late Larinde Akinleye.
12.) Prof Akinwumi Isola was an unabashed believer in the promotion of the Yoruba language, which he once demonstrated by being the first person to deliver a university convocation lecture in Yoruba at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, which was very unconventional.
13.) Akinwumi worked Closely with Kelani as a member of a trio of late Adebayo Faleti and late Larinde Akinleye.
14.) He was also visiting professor at the University of Georgia.
15.) Akinwumi Also wrote a play titled Olu Omo. This was published May 1983 by Onibonoje Press & Book industries (Nig.) Ltd.
16.) His popular works include: Efúnṣetán Aníwúra, Iyálóde Ìbàdàn, and Tinúubú, Ìyálóde Ẹgbá – 1970; Madam Tinubu– 1998; Ogún ọmọdé – 1990; Belly Bellows – 2009; and Herbert Macaulay and the Spirit of Lagos – 2009.