Yoruba novelist, Oladejo Okediji, dies at 89
Celebrated Yoruba writer, Chief Oladejo Okediji, is dead.
The Yoruba octogenarian novelist died in the early hours of Wednesday at 89 according to one of his children, Goke.
Goke told our correspondent on the phone that the deceased was not sick before his demise.
It was learnt that hordes of sympathisers have been besieging the residence of the late writer located at the Mabolaje area of Oyo, Oyo State.
The late Okediji, who structured his novels after the detective works of English novelist, Agatha Christie, was the author of novels including Aja Lo Leru, Rere Run, Agbalagba Akan, Atoto Arere, Karin Kapo, Opa Agbeleka, Oga Ni Bukola, Sango, Iroyin Ayo, Binu Tiri and a play, Aajo Aje (Running After Riches).
Meanwhile, a veteran actor, Peter Fatomilola, expressed shock at the death of Okediji, describing him as a gifted writer.
The actor said he recalled that they were both part of the Ori olokun theatre under the tutelage of the late Prof. Ola Rotimi.
He said, “We acted one of his works, Rere Run. He was a good man and a God-fearing person.’’
Also, a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Dr Adeola Faleye, said the late writer’s death was painful as they were planning for his 90th birthday.
She stated that Okediji brought some uniqueness into writing with his distinct style on crime novels.
Faleye said she interviewed the deceased when she was in Part 3 at the university on his writing and later discovered that he was a member of the board of Ife Girls High School, where she had her secondary education.
The lecturer said, “I presented my autobiography when I was 50 last year, and baba attended the event. There is no filler for him. We can have a similar person but never like him. No artist can be like baba.’’