How Elizabeth Fagunwa dispelled wild myths about her late husband

How Elizabeth Fagunwa dispelled wild myths about her late husband

Monday, April 9, 2018 2:48 pm

D. O Fagunwa’s wife, Elizabeth. Photo credit: Raphael James

Ademola Adegbamigbe

Before her death at the age of 85 (on Saturday 7 April 2018), Chief Mrs Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa, wife of the popular writer, D.O. Fagunwa, dispelled some myths around her late husband. There were such tales like: D.O Fagunwa was not a human being; that when he died, his body was not found; he was taught how to write those books by water, tree and rock spirits! He was the author of Ògbójú Ode Nínú Igbó Irúnmale, (The Forest of A Thousand Daemons as translated by Professor Wole Soyinka).

Mrs Fagunwa made the clarifications on Thursday 27 July 2017, her last. In her words: “Fagunwa was a human being, he was not a spirit. I married a man not a spirit. Against the notion that Fagunwa’s body was not found, I want to tell you that his body was found and buried in Oke Igbo.”

That was when eminent Nigerians, scholars and students gathered at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, UI, to once again celebrate her husband. It was put together by Fagunwa Study Group, FSG, in conjunction with Bookcraft. In other words, it was a public presentation of a book titled, Celebrating D.O. Fagunwa: Aspects of African and World Literary History, edited by two scholars, Professors Adeleke Adeeko and Akin Adesokan. The book reviewer was Dr. Ayo Adeduntan of the Institute of African Studies, UI.

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