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Renowned Playwright, Prof. Akinwumi Isola Is Dead

Professor Akinwunmi Isola, a popular Nigerian playwright, actor, and scholar, is dead.

The literary icon died Saturday morning, in his Ibadan, Oyo State, home, aged 79.

He was born in Ibadan in 1939, he attended Labode Methodist School and Wesley College, and later studied at the University of Ibadan, where he graduated with a B. A. in French.

In 1978, he earned his M.A. in Yoruba literature from the University of Lagos before starting academic work as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

In 1991, he was appointed a Professor at Obafemi Awolowo University.

Prof Isola wrote his first play, Efúnṣetán Aníwúra, during 1961 and 1962, while still a student at the University of Ibadan, which was followed by a novel O Leku.

The play said to gain popularity at one performance in Ibadan was reportedly watched by forty thousand people.

It was Prof Isola, who, in 1986, wrote and composed the college anthem that is currently being sung at Wesley College, Ibadan.

After the first play, he later wrote a number of plays and novels, and also, he went into broadcasting, and later created a production company which had turned a number of his plays into television dramas and films.

In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the National Merit Award and the Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters in 2000.

He was also visiting a professor at the University of Georgia, United States.

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.

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