Akinwunmi Isola

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Professor Akinwunmi Isola (24 December 1939[1][2] – 17 February 2018) was a Nigerian playwright, novelist, actor, dramatist, culture activist and scholar. He was known for his writing in, and his work in promoting, the Yoruba language.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

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.

'[4][citation needed]

He was appointed Professor at the same University in 1991. Isola wrote his first play, Efunsetan Aniwura,[5] during 1961-62 while still a student at the University of Ibadan. This was followed by a novel, O Leku. In 1986, he wrote and composed the college anthem that is currently being sung in Wesley College Ibadan.[citation needed]

He went on to write a number of plays and novels. He 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[6] and translated to Yoruba.[3]

On May 4, 2015, his book, Herbert Macaulay and the Spirit of Lagos was staged at University of Ilorin, Kwara state at the Performing Arts Theatre, it was directed by Adams Abdulfatai Ayomide, for the annual season of plays festival.

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 a visiting professor at the University of Georgia.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Akinwunmi Isola was married and had four children.[citation needed]


Akinwunmi Isola died on 17 February 2018 in Ibadan, Oyo State, aged 78.[8]


  1. ^ Nichols, Lee (20 February 1981). "Conversations with African Writers: Interviews with Twenty-six African Authors". Voice of America – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Google Groups". groups.google.com.
  3. ^ a b Chima Anyadike; Kehinde Ayoola. Blazing the Path: Fifty Years of Things Fall Apart. African books Collective. ISBN 978-9-78-081-18-46. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  4. ^ Bona, Sheriff (2018-02-17). "Nigerians pay tributes to popular Yoruba playwright Akinwunmi Isola". TODAY. Retrieved 2020-02-06.
  5. ^ "I misrepresented Efunsetan Aniwura in my book". The Punch. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  6. ^ PEN America 13: Lovers. PEN America Center. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Citation on Professor Akinwunmi Isola" (pdf). Nigerian National Nerit Award. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Professor Akinwunmi Isola is dead". Lailasnews. Retrieved 17 February 2018.