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Nigerian Playwright and Director Wole Oguntokun Passes Away at 56

Nigerian dramatist and theater luminary, Wole Oguntokun, has passed away at the age of 56. With a multifaceted career as a playwright, director, and lawyer, Oguntokun left a profound impact on Nigeria’s cultural landscape. The sad news was shared by film director Kayode Peters on Instagram.


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A post shared by Kayode Peters. (@kayodepeters1)

Recalling their collaborative journey, Peters reminisced about directing Oguntokun’s debut performance, “Who is Afraid of Wole Soyinka,” at prestigious venues like the Muson Centre, graced by the presence of the legendary Wole Soyinka himself. Peters also highlighted their joint endeavor on DBN TV’s comedy series, “Crossworld Blues.” Oguntokun’s departure coincided with World Theatre Day, leaving behind a void in Nigeria’s artistic community.


Born on July 15, 1967, Oguntokun was not only a creative force but also a board member of Theaturtle, a Canadian theater company. His contributions extended to television, where he played a significant role in producing and writing sitcoms such as “Crossworld Blues” and “Living Free.”

Trained as a lawyer, Oguntokun’s true passion lay in theater, where he tackled societal issues through poignant plays. His annual Season of Soyinka, which celebrates the works of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, exemplified his commitment to Nigerian theater. Beyond national borders, Oguntokun’s works garnered international acclaim, earning him recognition as a fellow of numerous theatrical organizations.

Throughout his illustrious career, Oguntokun received accolades for his direction and production of plays by renowned Nigerian playwrights like Soyinka, Osofisan, Rotimi, Sofola, and Fugard. He established the Theatre Republic in Lagos, a nurturing ground for Nigerian talents, and championed Nigerian theater globally.


His legacy lives on through his compelling storytelling and unwavering dedication to the arts, ensuring that Nigerian narratives resonate on a global scale

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