The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, has described the death of foremost Nigerian playwright, actor and culture activist, Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola, as a monumental loss to Nigeria and the Yoruba nation in particular.
Adams stated this in a statement on Monday.
He said: “One of the illustrious sons and scholars of Yoruba has gone.”
In the statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Aare Adams described Prof. Ishola as one of the leading figures that promoted Yoruba language and culture all through his life.
While commiserating with the family of the erudite scholar, Adams said: “It is sad that Nigeria has lost one of the foremost language expert and orator. His role and contributions to the development of Yoruba language was next to none, and it is worthy of note that many of the new generation writers in the country today learn a lot from his wealth of experiences. As an illustrious son of Yoruba descendants, Prof. Ishola, in his life, preached peace through many of his literary works and contributed immensely to the promotion of the Yoruba language and culture. He was a model of excellence to many writers and activists, and his past records speak volumes.
“As we mourn the death of one of our heroes and role models, I, therefore, urge young writers to emulate the late professor.”
The late Ishola was a retired professor of Yoruba Literature at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
A revered culture activist, scholar and renowned writer, Ishola used his numerous literary works to promote Yoruba Language and tradition.
He was a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and received the Nigerian National Order of Merit.
The late Ishola was the author of over five plays and three novels.
Some of his plays were evergreen in the minds of his various admirers.
These include Efunsetan Aniwura in the 60s, and Oleku among others.
Prof. Isola died on Saturday, in Ibadan.
He was aged 84.