Femi Osofisan

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Femi Osofisan
BornBabafemi Adeyemi Osofisan
June 1946
Erunwon, Ogun State, Nigeria
Alma materUniversity of Ibadan;
Sorbonne, Paris
Notable awardsThalia Prize
Official website

Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan (born June 1946), known as Femi Osofisan or F.O., is a Nigerian writer noted for his critique of societal problems and his use of African traditional performances and surrealism in some of his novels. A frequent theme that his novels explore is the conflict between good and evil. He is in fact a didactic writer whose works seek to correct his decadent society.

Education and career[edit]

Born in the village of Erunwon,[1] Ogun State, Nigeria, Osofisan attended primary school at Ife and secondary school at Government College, Ibadan. He then attended the University of Ibadan 1966–69), majoring in French and as part of his degree course studying at the University of Dakar for a year, and going on to do post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne, Paris.[2] He subsequently held faculty positions at the University of Ibadan, where he retired as full professor in 2011. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Theatre Arts, Kwara State University, Nigeria.

Osofisan is Vice President (West Africa) of the Pan African Writers' Association.[3]

In 2016, he became the first African to be awarded the prestigious Thalia Prize by the International Association of Theatre Critics,[4] the induction ceremony taking place on 27 September.[5]


Osofisan has written and produced more than 60 plays. He has also written four prose works: Ma'ami, Abigail, Pirates of Hurt and Cordelia, first produced in newspaper columns, in The Daily Times and then The Guardian (Nigeria). One of his prose works; Ma'ami was adapted into a film in 2011. Several of Osofisan's plays are adaptations of works by other writers: Women of Owu from Euripides' The Trojan Women; Who's Afraid of Solarin? from Nikolai Gogol's The Government Inspector; No More the Wasted Breed from Wole Soyinka's The Strong Breed; Another Raft from J. P. Clark's The Raft; Tegonni: An African Antigone from SophoclesAntigone, and others.

Osofisan in his works also emphasizes gender: his representation of women as objects, objects of social division, due to shifting customs and long-lived traditions, and also as instruments for sexual exploitation; and his portrayal of women as subjects, individuals capable of cognition, endowed with consciousness and will, and capable of making decisions and effecting actions.

Selected works[edit]

  • Kolera Kolej. New Horn, 1975.
  • The Chattering and the Song. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, 1977.
  • Morountodun and Other Plays. Lagos: Longman, 1982.
  • Minted Coins (poetry), Heinemann, 1987.
  • Another Raft. Lagos: Malthouse, 1988.
  • Once upon Four Robbers. Ibadan: Heinemann, 1991
  • Twingle-Twangle A-Twynning Tayle. Longman, 1992.
  • Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest: A Parable for Our Times, Heinemann Educational, Nigeria, 1993.
  • The Album of the Midnight Blackout, University Press, Nigeria, 1994.
  • "Warriors of a Failed Utopia? West African writers since the 70s" in Leeds African Studies Bulletin 61 (1996), pp. 11–36.
  • Tegonni: An African Antigone. Ibadan: Opon Ifa, 1999.
  • "Theater and the Rites of 'Post-Negritude' Remembering". Research in African Literatures 30.1 (1999): 1–11.


  • 2015: PAWA Membership Honorary Award[3]
  • 2016: Thalia Prize from the International Association of Theatre Critics


  1. ^ Femi Osofisan page at African Books Collective.
  2. ^ Don Rubin, "A Brief Introduction to Femi Osofisan", Critical Stages/Scènes Critiques, December 2016: Issue No 14.
  3. ^ a b "PAWA Congratulates Prof Osofisan", Modern Ghana, 1 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Reward for criticism", The Nation, 3 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Osofisan installed as 2016 Thalia laureate", PM News, 2 October 2016.
  • Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sola Adeyemi (ed), Portraits for an Eagle: Essays in Honour of Femi Osofisan, Bayreuth African Studies, 2006. ISBN 978-3927510951
  • Tunde Akinyemi and Toyin Falola (eds), Emerging Perspectives on Femi Osofisan, Africa World Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1592216994

External links[edit]