Early life and career
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. 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.
Akinwunmi Isola is happily married and has four children.
- Chima Anyadike; Kehinde Ayoola. Blazing the Path: Fifty Years of Things Fall Apart. African books Collective. ISBN 978-9-78-081-18-46. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- "I misrepresented Efunsetan Aniwura in my book". The Punch. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- PEN America 13: Lovers. PEN America Center. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- "Citation on Professor Akinwunmi Isola" (pdf). Nigerian National Nerit Award.
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