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 90 th 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 . ’’

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