The family of late Yoruba writer, Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa, popularly known as D. O. Fagunwa, has marked 53 years of his death.
Fagunwa, the pioneer author of the classic, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale, died on December 7, 1963, in a boat capsize accident.
He died at the bank of River Wuya, near Bida, in present day Niger state, while heading to Ibadan from a working visit to Kano.
He was buried three days later on December 10 at St. Lukes Anglican Church Cemetery, Oke-Igbo, Ondo state.
Fagunwa’s body was said to have been retrieved intact from the river by local divers a few days after with his Yoruba traditional attire still on, his shoes and even his glasses on his face.
He was the author of four other imaginative books like Ireke Onibudo, Aditu Olodumare which he wrote in a mythical manner.
Fagunwa’s last manuscript Ireola Olodumare, was never found till today, perhaps lost in the river.
53 years later, he was remembered on Wednesday, December 7, at a commendation service and a holy communion service held at the St Luke’s Anglican Church, Oke-Igbo, his hometown.
Fagunwa’s widow, 84-year-old Elizabeth Adebanke Fagunwa, who was 31 when he died, and son, Dipo Fagunwa as well as other family members were at the church service to remember and honour the late Yoruba author of magical realism.
“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,” said Fagunwa’s widow.
Dipo, son of the late author, said, “That probably was our saddest day as we finally knew that we shall behold him no more except in our dreams”.
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