The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has described the death of the renowned playwright, Professor Akinwunmi Isola, as a colossal loss not only to his immediate family but to Oyo state, the Yoruba race and the world at large.
Isola, aged 78, died a sudden death on Saturday (February 18) in his Akobo residence in Ibadan.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, Ajimobi stated.that he received the news of the death of the Ibadan-born culture ambassador and progenitor of Yoruba literature with disbelief and utter shock.
He, however, praised the septuagenarian, saying that in his lifetimes, he played his part meritoriously and had now gloriously exited to be with his maker.
The governor stated.that the state had lost a venerated son of the soil, who devoted his life to the promotion of Yoruba culture through his creative works and huge contributions to the global body of knowledge.
Listing some of the works such as ‘Efunsetan Aniwura,’ a play written by him while he was a student at the University of Ibadan, the governor described it as one that remained a timeless piece in teaching lessons on abuse of power and retribution.
He also described his epic novel, ‘O leku,’ as evergreen.
“The late Prof. Ishola was also a blessing to his Alma Mata, Wesley College, Ibadan, because he composed the school anthem, which is still in use till date.
“He was a man of many parts. Not only was he a prolific writer, but he was also a talented actor and astute broadcaster who churned out many plays, drama series and box office films.
“Prof Akinwumi Isola was an unabashed believer in the promotion of the Yoruba language, which he once demonstrated by being the first person to deliver a university convocation lecture in Yoruba at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, which was very unconventional.
“But, in the words of William Shakespeare ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players;
“They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.’ Baba has played his parts and he has exited gloriously. A ku ara fe ra ku.”
The governor sympathised with the family of the late literary giant and prayed that the Lord grants his soul a peaceful rest and his family, as well as the creative and literary communities, the fortitude to bear the loss.
– Channels TV