Professor Akinwunmi Isola (24 December 1939 – 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.
Early life and careerEdit
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 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 1961-62 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.
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 and translated to Yoruba.
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.
Akinwunmi Isola was married and had four children.
Akinwunmi Isola died on 17 February 2018 in Ibadan, Oyo State, aged 78.
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