Femi Osofisan

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Femi Osofisan
Born Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan
June 1946
Erunwon, Ogun State, Nigeria
Occupation Professor
Nationality Nigerian
Alma mater University of Ibadan;
Sorbonne, Paris
Notable awards Thalia Prize

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, going on to do post-graduate studies at the Sorbonne, Paris. 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.

In 2016, he became the first African to be awarded the prestigious Thalia Prize by the International Association of Theatre Critics,[2] the induction ceremony taking place on 27 September.[3]


Osofisan has three prose works Ma'ami, Abigail and Cordelia, first produced in newspaper columns, in The Daily Times and then The Guardian (Nigeria).

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, 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.


  • 2016 Thalia Prize from the International Association of Theatre Critics


  1. ^ Femi Osofisan page at African Books Collective.
  2. ^ "Reward for criticism", The Nation, 3 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Osofisan installed as 2016 Thalia laureate", PM News, 2 October 2016.
  • Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale.

External links[edit]