Olawale Gladstone Emmanuel Rotimi, best known as Ola Rotimi, was one of Nigeria’s leading playwrights and theatre directors.
NAME: Ola Rotimi
DATE OF BIRTH: 13 April 1938,
PLACE OF BIRTH: Ilesa
FATHER: Samuel Gladstone Enitan Rotimi
MOTHER: Dorcas Adolae Oruene Addo
MARRIED TO: Hazel Mae Guadreau
CHILDREN: Enitan Rotimi, Kole Heyward-Rotimi
OCCUPATION: Playwright, director. head of department of creative arts at the University of Port Harcourt, lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; has also served as visiting professor, playwright, and director in Germany and Italy, as well as at DePauw University and Wabash College.
EDUCATION: Boston University College of Fine Arts, Boston University, Yale School of Drama, Obafemi Awolowo University
CAREER AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Rotimi often examined Nigeria’s history and local traditions in his works. His first plays, To Stir the God of Iron (produced 1963) and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again (produced 1966; published 1977), were staged at the drama schools of Boston University and Yale, respectively.
PUBLICATIONS: (1963) To Stir the God of Iron
(1966) Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again—depicts the cocoa farmer and businessman Lejoka-Brown as a self-seeking, opportunistic leader who could make better contributions to his country outside of the political arena.
(1968) The Gods Are Not To Blame—an adaptation of the Greek classic Oedipus Rex; the main character gets trapped by pride, ignorance and the caprices of the divinities.
(1970) Holding Talks
(1971) Ovonramven Nogbaisi—the title character simply luxuriates in the grandeur of his office. Although he is a custodian of culture who inspires people, he does not actively participate in their struggles.
(1973) Grip Am
(1973) Invitation into Madness
(1977) Akassa Youmi*
(1979) If: A Tragedy of the Ruled—in If, the young firebrand Hamidu is nowhere to be found when a real commitment is required.
(1985) Hopes of The Living Dead—Rotimi here depicts a different kind of leader: a selfless, result-oriented, committed leadership complemented by a followership that believes in the good of the generality of its members through the application of itself to the cause that is beneficial.
When the Criminals Become Judges
ACHIEVEMENTS: The Gods Are Not To Blame, Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, and The Epilogue
HONORS AND AWARDS:Rotimi was awarded two Fulbright Scholarships