The state government of Osun has described the death of Prof. Akinwumi Ishola, a prominent Yoruba scholar, playwright and actor as a setback to the promotion of Yoruba language, her indigenous culture and tradition.
According to a press release by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Mr Adelani Baderinwa, the government said Ishola’s death was an irreparable loss to the Yoruba race.
Baderinwa expressed worries over the deaths of Yoruba leaders and scholars, saying that the race is left with a few noble leaders.
He maintained that Prof. Ishola was a good ambassador of Yoruba race and had contributed immensely to the promotion of its culture, values and tradition through his movies and writings.
According to Baderinwa, Ishola was an embodiment of Yoruba knowledge, its people and society. This is unarguably encapsulated in his literary pieces as the linguistic and communicative competence of the language, its cultures reflect greatly therein.
He said: “Prof Ishola was a foremost Yoruba playwright and one of the few remaining custodians of Yoruba literature and culture of repute. Part of his legendary work 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 promotion of Yoruba language, values, culture and tradition by every Yoruba person, saying that if such step is not taken, dangers visibly loom for the language because of the death of its prominent promoters.