Nigerians among whom were friends, associates and ex-student of the late actor, playwright, culture activist and scholar, Professor Akinwunmi Isola who passed away on Saturday have continued to react to the death of the Ibadan born writer.
Isola died in his hometown, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital at the age of 79.
A friend of the deceased and chairman of Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Dr. Lekan Are, while reacting to Isola’s death, praised him (Isola) for his passion for Yoruba culture, language and tradition, adding that the deceased’s wife called him early on Saturday to inform him of the actor’s death.
Are said, “When his wife called me this morning, and told me that Isola had died, I was shocked because I had visited him two weeks ago he told me that he was getting better. We had a vibrant discussion. He was excited to see me again.
“This is why I was taken aback by his death. He was a brilliant individual who made Yoruba history popular beyond Africa. He delivered lectures in Yoruba language. He wanted the language of Yoruba to feature prominently in our education system but unfortunately, this did not happen in his life time. May his soul rest in peace.”
Similarly, a very close associate of the deceased and a foremost cinematographer, Mr. Tunde Kelani eulogised the late actor for the roles played when he was alive.
Kelani said, “Yes, Prof Ishola died this morning in Ibadan. He has been down for about two years now”.
Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu while reacting to Isola’s death said he received the news with sadness.
Momodu said “ Sad to receive the news that Nigeria has lost the legendary writer PROF AKINWUNMI ISOLA, my former lecturer & supervisor; author of O LEKU and EFUNSETANA NIWURA and others. Rest in Peace Sir”.
The late actor who wrote the popular play, Efunsetan Aniwura, when he was a student of the University of Ibadan in 1961 died as a result of age-related ailment, according to a family source.
Born in Ibadan in 1939, Prof Ishola attended Labode Methodist School and Wesley College in the capital of the old Western Region of Nigeria.
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 where he was appointed a professor in 1991.
Among his most popular plays are Efunsetan Aniwura, Madam Tinubu,
Oleku and Olu Omo. His works, Oleku, Koseegbe, Saworoide, Agogo Eewo and Campus Queen were adapted to film by Kelani.