Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso is Kole Omotoso’s full name. He is a well-known and intelligent Nigerian writer. His writing is known for its dedication to incorporating human dignity and a sociopolitical revaluation of Africa into the majority of his works.
Early Life & Education
Kole Omotoso was born on April 21, 1943, in Akure, Ondo State, which is located in Nigeria’s southwest. He lost his father as a child and was raised by his mother and grandmother. He had his secondary education at King’s College in Lagos, where he graduated in 1963. He later went on to the University of Ibadan (UI), where he earned his B.Sc in 1968. Kole Omotoso earned his doctorate in 1972 from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He wrote a doctoral thesis on Ahmad Ba Kathir, a modern Arabic writer.
Kole Omotoso began his career as a lecturer at the University of Ibadan shortly after receiving his Ph.D. Between 1972 to 1976, he worked in the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies. He moved to work in the drama school at the then-University of Ife, which is now known as Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), from 1976 until 1988. Kole Omotoso began teaching English at the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, South Africa, in 1991, and remained there until the year 2000. Later that year, in 2001, he moved to the drama department at the University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, where he lectured until 2003.
In addition, he writes to a range of African media, most notably the “Trouble Travels” column in Nigeria’s Sunday Guardian. From 2013 to 2016, he was a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature. Between the mid-1990s and the 2010s, he played the “Yebo Gogo man” in several TV commercials for Vodacom mobile phones.
Omotoso grew up within the growing tide of extreme nationalism and was enamored with his country’s future possibilities. His literature covers a wide range of topics, including intergenerational and interracial relationships. Fela’s Choice is a precursor to Nigerian detective fiction. However, when social and political degradation increased a few years after independence, he grew increasingly interested in writing about fiction. Fiction was an escape from the decay of real life, where deep reconstructions of life and ideas came true. It also provided an opportunity to test social and political ideas for societal change and advancement. Omotoso’s nonfiction covers a wide range of topics.
Kole Omotosho is happily married and has three children. Two of his children, Akin Omotoso and Yewande Omotosho, are also renowned writers and filmmakers.
- 1988 Just Before Dawn
- 1982 Memories of Our Recent Boom
- 1978 To Borrow a Wandering Leaf
- 1976 The Scales
- 1974 Sacrifice
- 1974 Fela’s Choice
- 1973 Miracles
- 1972 The Combat
- 1971 The Edifice
- 1977 Shadows in the Horizon
- 1976 The Curse
- 1997 Woza Africa
- 1995 Achebe or Soyinka? A Study in Contrasts
- 1994 Season of Migration to the South: Africa’s crises reconsidered
- 1982 The Theatrical Into Theatre: a study of the drama and theatre of the English-speaking Caribbean
- 1979 The Form of the African Novel
According to different analyses of Kole Omtosho’s net worth, and considering his past career experiences, he has an estimated net worth of $3 million.