In a collaborative effort involving the Late Chief Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa’s Family, the Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa Foundation, and the Department of Linguistics & African Languages of the University of Ibadan, the diamond jubilee celebration in honour the late legendary literary icon, was held on Thursday, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
The event, hosted at Trenchard Hall of the institution became the epicenter of intellectual and cultural festivities. The event brought together scholars, family members, admirers and others.
In a welcome address by Barrister Ajeniyi Ajewole, the President General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), represented by Baale Alamu Oloyede, he said, “We gather here to celebrate not just a man but a literary icon who left a great legacy on the cultural history of our society.”
The President General’s words also resonated with a call for unity, stating, “In honouring late Chief D.O. Fágúnwà, we unite as a community to appreciate his profound impact on literature, culture, and the identity of the Yoruba people.”
The keynote speaker, Professor Olaide Gbadamosi, delivered the lecture on the emerging jurisprudence in Fágúnwà’s works.
Quoting his insights, he said, “Fágúnwà’s works from as early as 1949 remain relevant, offering lessons in creativity, passion, commitment, and inspiration.”
Professor Gbadamosi elaborated on Fágúnwà’s literary significance, saying, “His narratives provide a unique blend of jurispendence, legal perspectives, and moralities. The depth of his insights, particularly on courtship and interpersonal relationships, reveals a profound understanding of human nature. Fágúnwà’s work serves as a reservoir of wisdom, applicable to various facets of life.”
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale represented by Professor Ronke Bayeroju, also emphasized the broad influence of Fágúnwà’s literary texts.
He said: “Daniel Olorunfemi Fágúnwà’s works are among the most researched literary texts spanning various disciplines. They have been applied to almost every aspect of human endeavor.”
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of D.O. Fágúnwà Foundation, Dipo Faguwa, portrayed Late Chief D.O. Fágúnwà was a literary maestro who spoke to the world through his pen.
He said: “His teaching techniques, borrowing from Yoruba culture, the Bible, Arabian Folktales, and local traditions, showcased his versatility.”
During the event, Diípò Fágúnwà took the opportunity to rectify historical inaccuracies found in a book titled ‘DO Fágúnwà: Beyond the Mythical.’
Addressing errors related to Fágúnwà’s lineage, facial marks, and financial status, he said, “I need to correct these facts in the Fágúnwà history to check their attempt to rewrite the History of this great man.”
In attendance were distinguished individuals from all corners of the world, further enhancing the importance of the celebration and paying tribute to the enduring legacy of late Chief D.O. Fágúnwà.