Erudite Professor Kole Omotoso Dies in South Africa


Erudite Professor of English and renowned writer, Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso, popularly known as Kole Omotoso, is dead

Aged 80, he passed on in Centurion, Gaunteng Cape Town, South Africa where he had lived for many years.

The family, in a short message announcing the demise of the highly revered intellectual, said “Our beloved father and husband moved on from this plane on Wednesday 19th late afternoon. We are sharing this with his close and much-loved community and will share more as we gather ourselves.

“Thank you for your care and love and support.”

In South Africa, he was best known for his works of fiction and as the “Yebo Gogo man” in adverts for the telecommunications company Vodacom.


The renowned intellectual was born on April 21, 1943, in Akure, Ondo State, South West, Nigeria.

Omotoso attended the King’s College, Lagos, and the University of Ibadan and later undertook a doctoral thesis on the modern Arabic writer Ahmad Ba Kathir at the University of Edinburgh.

He returned to his alma mater, the University of Ibadan to teach Arabic studies between 1972 and 1976 from where he moved to the University of Ife to work in drama from 1976 to 1988.

Prof. Omotoso started writing for various magazines (including West Africa) in the 1970s.

He was regarded as a member of Nigeria’s literate elites

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