The family of the late foremost Yoruba writer and pioneer author of the classics, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale, Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa, popularly known as D. O. Fagunwa, has marked 53 years of his departure from this earth.
Fagunwa, author of Yoruba novels of magical realism,
died on December 7, 1963 in a boat capsize.
He died at the bank of River Wuya, near Bida,in present day Niger State,on his way back to Ibadan, from a working visit to Kano. He was buried on the 10th of December,at the St Lukes Anglican Church Cemetery, Oke-Igbo, Ondo State.
Fagunwa’s 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.
He was author of four other imaginative books like Ireke Onibudo, Aditu Olodumare which he told in a mythical manner. his last manuscript Ireola Olodumare,
was never found till today, perhaps lost in the river.
The 53 years of his death was remembered on Wednesday, 7th December,2016, at a commendation service and a n holy Communion Service held at the St Luke’s Anglican Church,Oke-Igbo, his hometown to mark the 53 years of his passage.
Fagunwa’s widow, who became widowed at 31 and is now 84, Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa, whom he fondly called Sayoade (Joy of my Crown) while alive and the son, Dipo Fagunwa and other family members were at the church service to remember and honour the late Yoruba author of magical realism.
Of her husband’s memory, Mrs Fagunwa said: “Many times, I looked at the blue sky but saw no sunshine and never expected rain. But as the bible says, weeping may endure a night but joy cometh in the morning.”
In his words, the son of the late writer, Dipo, said, “That probably was our saddest day as we finally knew that we shall behold him no more except in our dreams.”
He however thanked family and friends, including fans of the late writer for “making the difference by helping us with your support to weather the throes of his death.”