President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed deep sorrow at the passing of celebrated writer, author, and esteemed literary scholar, Professor Kole Omotoso.
The news of Prof. Omotoso’s death in Cape Town, South Africa, has cast a pall of sadness over Nigeria and the entire African literary world.
Remembered as a towering figure in the literary realm, the 80-year-old leaves behind a profound legacy that will be cherished for generations.
President Tinubu acknowledged the tremendous loss felt by the literary community and the continent as a whole in his tribute.
“The news of the passing of the prodigious writer, author, and academic, Prof. Kole Omotoso, deeply saddens me,” expressed President Tinubu.
“In this time of grief, I extend my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to his family, friends, professional colleagues, and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for the loss of this illustrious son of Africa. May they find solace, and may the soul of Prof. Omotoso rest in perfect peace,” he said.
According to the president, Prof. Omotoso’s literary brilliance transcended borders, with his books and collections of short stories resonating deeply across the African continent. He related this to his focus on leadership within the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government for West Africa.
Throughout his illustrious career, Prof. Omotoso remained dedicated to the socio-political regeneration of Africa, emphasising the importance of human dignity in his work. These qualities drew a wide following across the continent and left a lasting impact on countless individuals.
The late Professor’s upbringing during the era of rising radical nationalism profoundly influenced his literary creations. He explored themes of intergenerational and interracial relationships in his fiction, solidifying his popularity through works such as “Just Before Dawn,” “The Edifice,” “The Combat,” “Sacrifice,” and “Fela Choice.”
In 1988, Prof. Omotoso faced controversy surrounding his historical book on Nigeria, “Just Before Dawn.” He then made South Africa his home until his passing, leaving an indelible mark on the country’s literary landscape.
“His departure is a significant loss not only to Nigeria but to the entire African literary community,” the president noted.
Prof. Kole Omotoso’s profound impact and invaluable contributions to African literature will forever remain a beacon of inspiration for generations to come, ensuring that his legacy endures through the written words that touched the hearts and minds of readers worldwide.