55 Years After His Death, D.O Fagunwa’s Widow Dies

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Mrs. Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa, wife of the iconic Yoruba language novel pioneer, Chief Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa, is dead. She died at 86 years old at her Oke Igbo, Ondo family house on Sunday 8th April, 2018. The deceased lived in Oke Igbo since her husband’s death 55 years ago.

Fagunwa died on December 7th 1963 in a river in Niger State. His body was said to have been retrieved from the river by local divers a few days after, intact, with his Yoruba traditional attire still on, his shoes and even his glasses on his face.

The late Mrs. Fagunwa’s widow, who became widowed at 31, was her husband’s apple eye whom he fondly called S

Late (Mrs.) Elizabeth Fagunwa
Late D.O Fagunwa; his first book, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole

ayoade (Joy of my Crown).

The late Mrs. Fagunwa’s widow, who became widowed at 31, was her husband’s apple eye whom he fondly called Sayoade (Joy of my Crown).

Fagunwa, known as the father of Yoruba magical realism, was author of such imaginative books which are ‘Ireke Onibudo’, ‘Aditu Olodumare’, ‘Igbo Olodumare’, ‘Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole’,  ‘Adiitu Olodumare’, which he wrote in a mythical manner. His last manuscript, ‘Ireola Olodumare’, is still missing till this day, perhaps lost in the river.

-Folorunsho Hamsat