President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed sadness over the passing of celebrated writer, author and literary scholar, Professor Kole Omotoso, saying his demise is a big loss to Nigeria, Africa and the literary world.
Prof. Omotoso died in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday at 80.
President Tinubu described the well-known Prof. Omotoso as a literary giant that is reputed for his commitment and dedication to the socio-political reappraisal of Africa. He equally noted that respect for human dignity was evident in most of the thought-provoking works of the late Professor.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, the President said: “I’m deeply saddened by the passing of prodigious writer, author and academic, Prof. Kole Omotoso.
“A literary giant best known for his works of fiction and literary criticism, Prof. Omotoso’s books and collections of short stories radiated beyond the shores of Nigeria. Africa was his oasis.
“Most of his works harped on Africa’s renaissance and for the continent to win back her lost glory, much more like what my leadership of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government is focused on doing for Africa, particularly the West Africa sub-region.
“Prof. Omotoso infused his commitment and dedication to socio-political regeneration of Africa and respect for human dignity into most of his literary works and seminal interventions which is why he had such a huge following in Africa and impacted many.
“It is worthy of note that Prof. Omotosho’s background greatly influenced his works. He grew up during the rising tide of radical nationalism and was enamoured by the potential that lay in the future of his country and Africa.
“His fiction ranges widely over the human condition, and the themes include intergenerational and interracial relationships. He particularly became popular for works like ‘Just Before Dawn,” “The Edifice,” “The Combat,” Sacrifice” and “Fela Choice”.
“Prof. Omotoso lived most of his life between Nigeria and South Africa, where he moved to after his 1988 historical book about Nigeria, “Just Before Dawn” became controversial, leading to his leaving the country.
“His departure is a loss to Nigeria, Africa and to the literary community.
“I offer my sympathy and condolences to his family, friends, professional colleagues and to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for the loss of this illustrious son of Africa. May they all be comforted and may the soul of Prof. Omotoso soul rest in perfect peace.”
Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communications and Strategy.
July 20, 2023