Osun State Government has lamented the demise of a prominent Yoruba scholar, playwright and actor Professor Akinwumi Ishola, who died in Ibadan at the weekend.
Commissioner for Information Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, in a statement yesterday, described the death of the National Merit Award winner and fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters as a setback to the promotion of Yoruba language, culture and tradition and an irreparable loss to the Yoruba people.
He also expressed worries that with Ishola’s exit, the Yoruba are now left with a few noble leaders.
“The late Professor Akinwunmi Ishola was a good ambassador of Yoruba race and contributed immensely to the promotion of its culture, values and tradition through his movies, drama and writings. He was an embodiment of Yoruba knowledge, its people and society,” Baderinwa said.
He added: “Ishola was a foremost Yoruba playwright and one of the few custodians of Yoruba literature and culture of repute. Part of his legendary works for the preservation and promotion of the Yoruba culture and tradition are Efunsetan Aniwura, O Le Ku, Saworoide, Koseegbe, Iyalode Tinubu, Olu Omo, Ogun Omode and many more.”
“He committed his life to the promotion of Yoruba culture through his creative works and valuable contributions to the international body of knowledge.
“May his soul rest in peace. May the work he has done in promoting our literature continue to endure and may our culture never die.”
Baderinwa called for the promotion of Yoruba language, values, culture and tradition by every Yoruba person.
He stressed that if such steps are not taken, danger loomed for the language because of the death of its prominent promoters.
The state House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker Honourable Najeem Salam has condoled with the entire Yoruba nation over the death of the Nigeria’s prolific writer.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said in a statement yesterday that his death was a great loss to the entire nation.
“It is so unfortunate that the cold hands of death plucked one of our intelligentsias, Professor Akinwumi Ishola, who wrote his first play, Efunsetan Aniwura in 1961 and 1962 while he was still a student at the University of Ibadan,” Oyintiloye said.
He added: “The linguist was renowned for works like ‘O Leku’ and the college anthem that is currently being sung in Wesley College, Ibadan, among other works.”
“Having written a number of plays and novels, Professor Ishola also went into broadcasting, creating a production company that has turned a number of his plays into television dramas and films. The wordsmith was also a visiting professor at the University of Georgia,” he said.
“Osun Assembly prays God to grant him eternal rest.”