Babafemi Osofisan


Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan

Proffesor | Writer

June 16th, 1946

University of Ibadan

Erunwon, Ogun State


Babafemi Osofisan is a famous Nigerian writer and novelist whose work often emphasizes and condemns the dissolute state of his environment. Some of his prose works remarkably is highlighted by African traditional illustrations.

Background and Education

Femi Osofisan was born in Erunwon, Ogun State, Nigeria, on June 16th, 1946 to Ebenezer Olatokunbo Osofisan, a school teacher, lay reader and church organist, and Phoebe Olufunke Osofisan, a retired teacher. femi-osofisan

He attended primary school from 1952 to 1958 in Ile-Ife before going on to attend secondary school at Government College, Ibadan. He obtained his West African School Certificate in 1963, winning the first T.M. Aluko Prize Literature. Later on, Osofisan attended the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in French in 1969. After obtaining a scholarship, he attended Sorbonne, Paris for post-graduate studies from 1972-1973. However, he will not receive his graduate degree there because his supervisor denied his request to present a thesis on African drama.cover_preview

Upon return to Ibadan in 1973, Osofisan was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages at the University of Ibadan, the first of several faculty positions he will hold. He was also President of the University of Ibadan Drama Society.

In 1974, Osofisan obtained his PhD after completing his doctoral work at the University of Ibadan on the origins of drama in West Africa. He then later became a full-time professor at the same institution. In 1985, he was appointed Visiting Professor of Drama at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) while he also continued to lecture at the University of Ibadan until he retired in 2011. He currently serves as a distinguished professor of Theater Arts at Kwara State University, Nigeria.

Literary Work

Femi Osofisan started writing as a newspaper columnist and has produced three prose works, Ma’amiAbigail and Cordelia, which were initially written as columns in the Daily Times and the Guardian (Nigeria). His novels, plays and essays often revolved around the moral state of the society and he used his work to analyze and criticize deviations from what is generally considered moral and ethical in the society.

Once Upon Four Robbers (1980)

Morountodun and Other Plays (1983)

Ajor Plays 2 (2003)

Minted Coins (1988)

Dreamseeker on Divining Chains (1993)

The Nostalgic Drum: Essays on Literature, Drama and Culture (2001)

Insidious Treasons: Drama in a Postcolonial State (2001)

Literature and the Pressures of Freedom (2001)

Kolera Kolej (1975)

The Chattering and the Song (1977)

Another Raft (1988)

Twingle-Twangle A-Twynning Tayle (1992)

Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest: A Parable for Our Times (1993)



Osofisan is regarded as one of Africa’s pioneers of African literature and is widely known to never hold back from admonishing tyrannical governments and leaders around the world. His work has been staged at major regional theatres across the world in countries like the United States, Germany, UK, Sri Lanka, Canada and China. In 2004, he was awarded the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), the highest academic prize in the country. In 2016, Osofisan became the first African to win the coveted Thalia Prize awarded by the International Association of Theatre Critics. The Thalia Prize recognizes the work of those who have helped critics around the globe to understand new ways of seeing and appreciating the performing arts worldwide.

Osofisan receives Thalia Award in Serbia
Osofisan receives Thalia Award in Serbia

Selected Awards

1983: 1st ANA (Association of Nigerian Authors™) Prize for Literature

1988: ANA Poetry Prize for Minted Coins.

1991: Grand Patron, Ghana Association of Writers (GAW).

1993: ANA Drama Prize for Yungba Yungba and the Dance Contest.

2001: Distinguished Alumnus Award, Faculty of Arts, Univ. of Ibadan.

2003: Lee G. Hall Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence, DePauw Univ., Indiana, USA.

2004: Nigerian National Order of Merit in the Humanities (NNOM)

2006: Fonlon-Nichols Prize.

2006: Fellow, Nigerian Academy of the Arts (FNAL).


  1. “Femi Osofisan”. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 3 October. 2016. <>.
  2. “Prof. Osofisan B.A.”. Faculty of Arts. The University of Ibadan. Web. 2016. <>.
  3. Adesola Adeyemi. “Femi Osofisan: A Chronology”. African Postcolonial Literature in English in the Postcolonial Web. Postcolonial Web. 2016. <>.