Atelewo, an organisation founded to revive and promote Yorùbá language and culture, has mourned the passing away of foremost Yoruba author, Baba Lawuyi Ogunniran describing his exit as the depature of an elephant.
The late Baba Lawuyi was until his death on Monday, an icon of Yoruba language and culture who authored many books including the widely acclaimed “Eégún Aláré”.
Atelewo, in a statement signed its Co-founders, Mr. Razak Malik Gbolahan and Oredola Ibrahim, described the late author as one of the greatest Yoruba authors who worked passionately towards promoting culture and practices through his books.
They maintained that he made remarkable contributions to Southwestern Nigeria as a historian, researcher and journalist.
They also called on the Seyi Makinde led administration in the state to immortalize him.
The statement by the group read in parts:”We are deeply sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest Yorùbá authors to have walked this terrestrial terrain. Bàbá Láwuyì Ògúnníran, a veteran Yorùbá author, joined the ancestors yesterday, September 21st, 2020. No doubt, Bàbá Láwuyì is an outstanding Yorùbá writer who contributed immensely to the propagation of Yorùbá indigenous language, culture and tradition.
“He wrote many sublime books that distinguished him from the crowd. Apart from his widely acclaimed book titled “Eégún Aláré,” Láwuyì Ògúnníran wrote other canonical texts such as: Ọlọ́run ò màwàdà, 1991 Frontline, Ìbàdàn Mẹ̀siọ̀gọ̀, 2000 Vantage, Igi wọ́rọ́kọ́, 1998 Lolyem, Ààrẹ Àgò Aríkúyẹrí, 1977 MacMillan, Eégún Aláré, MacMillan, Ọmọ Alátẹ ìlèkè, 1996 Lolyem, Abínú ẹni, 1997 Lolyem, Ẹrù ìfẹ, Lolyem ́ , Ọ̀nà kan ò wọjà, 1991 Longman, Níbo láye doríkọ, 1980 Longman, Ogún ọ̀kẹ́ mẹfà, MacMillan ́ , Àtàrí Àjànàkú, 1987 Evans, Aaro mẹta àt ́ ọ̀runwá, 1993 Vantage, Bó o láyà o sẹ̀kà, Adédẹ̀wá among others.
“These books are captivating books, and they shape our thoughts about societal happenings. Like his contemporaries, Láwuyì Ògúnníran displays acute understanding of the Yorùbá world through his faultless deployment of language to paint the portraits of our society. One of his books, “Eégún Aláré” voyaged successfully and fed young generation about important values and ideals of being a Yorùbá.
“Many people attest to the boundless love and admiration they have for the book and
other books written by the author. And aside from being a successful author, he also made
remarkable contributions to Southwestern Nigeria as a historian, researcher and journalist.
Ealier this month (September 5), Àtẹlẹẃọ́, our organisation founded to revive and promote Yorùbá language and culture, interviewed Láwuyì Ògúnníran in his house in Ìbàdàn. The interview is part of the series of interviews we planned to execute in order to celebrate veteran Yorùbá authors that have contributed in no small amount to Yorùbá literature heritage. As part of the project, we did a mini-documentary on him scheduled for release by month end and we also gave him an award “for promoting Yorùbá language and culture through literature”.
“All his life, Láwuyì Ògúnníran worked passionately towards promoting our culture and practices through his books. Láwuyì, like his fellow cultural vanguards—Prof. Akínwùnmí Ìshọ̀lá, Baba Adébáyò Fálétí, Baba Ọládẹ̀jọ Òkédìjí and others—will go down in history as an illustrious Yorùbá son who gave all he had in contribution for the sustainbility of our mothertongue. We all expected
someone of this status to have been awarded and celebrated in notable places during his lifetime.
“Sadly, not enough was done to appreciate this man. When we interviewed him and his son, Túndé Ògùnníran, his son stated that despite his father’s relentless contribution and undying love for Yorùbá Literature, nobody deemed it fit to consider him for any prize or award and our award was the first he would receive as an author; and sadly it was the last.
” We hereby call on the Government of Oyo state led by His Excellency, Engr. Seyi makinde, to rise to the occassion and immortalise this man who has done wonderfully well in sustaining our collective cultural legacy. He deserves every accolade and appreciation that comes his way in life, and death. We need to keep our indigenous writers in the limelight by creating platforms where their works will be read, discussed and appreciated.”