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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Renowned Nigerian playwright and theatre director, Wole Oguntokun, has passed away.

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Famous Nigerian playwright and theatre director Wole Oguntokun is dead.

Mr Oguntokun, a lawyer, died on Wednesday at 56.

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His friend and film director, Kayode Peters, broke the news on his Instagram page Thursday afternoon.

Mr Peters said the death of the artistic director of Theatre Planet Studios hurt.

He stated that Nigeria lost one of its brightest and bravest individuals.

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“I remember that year, I was just cutting my teeth as a professional theatre director, and your search for a director for your script brought you to the University of Lagos, and I was your obvious choice.

“I directed your first ever performance story ‘, Who is Afraid of Wole Soyinka’ at various theatres, including The prestigious Muson Centre, which the great Wole Soyinka himself graced.”

He said despite the relocation of the late newspaper columnist to Canada, he never ceased to inspire his career.

“Some months later, we started DBN TV’s first comedy series, ‘Crossword Blues,’ which you produced and I directed. I lost a friend, an actor all through and through, a great mind, a writer so gifted, so loved.

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“Is it a coincidence that you chose to leave on the day the world celebrated the world theatre day? Laspapi, our Jojo, I’ll miss you so much,” he said.

As of press time, the cause of his death and where he died are unknown.

Wole Oguntokun
Wole Oguntokun

Born on 15 July 1967, the late Oguntokun was a board member of Theaturtle, a Canadian theatre company.

The alumnus of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) produced and wrote the TV sitcoms ‘Crossworld Blues’ on DBN TV in 1999 and ‘Living Free’ on MBI television in 2002.

He also produced the television show on current affairs ‘The Cutting Edge’, aired on MBI in 2002, and Season II of the ‘Pan-African talk show Moments’ with Mo. He briefly produced Season IV as well.

Late Oguntokun wrote and produced a documentary on inner-city violence affecting young females titled ‘The Sounds of Silence’, commissioned by the Ajegunle Community Project (ACP) in 2009.

In March 2007, he began ‘The Girl Whisperer’, a weekly column on gender relations in the Sunday Guardian, which ran for seven years.

He was also a member of the Governing Council of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), a leading Arts and Culture Advocacy Group in Nigeria.

In 2021, he won the Young-Howze Award for Dramatic Writing of the Year for his play ‘The Emancipation of Yankee Oluwale’, based on the trial of two English policemen in 1969 for the death of the Nigerian migrant, David Oluwale.

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