Femi Osofisan: A Chronology

Adesola Adeyemi MA Candidate, Drama and Speech Department, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg

1946 (June 16): Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan aka Okinba Launko born at Erunwon, Ogun State, Nigeria. Father, Ebenezer Olatokunbo Osofisan, a lay-reader, church organist and school teacher died three months after his birth; mother, Phebean Olufunke Osofisan (retired teacher)

1952-58 Primary School education

1959-1963 At the Government College, Ibadan where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1963. Wins the 1st T. M. Aluko Prize for Literature

1965 Higher School Certificate. Wins the 1st Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNBS) Independence Prize with the essay "Five Years Ago"

1966 Enters the University of Ibadan to read French. Awarded the Western State and Federal Government of Nigeria's Scholarships (till 1969). Acts in James Ene Henshaw's Dinner for Promotion

1967-68 Attends Universite de Dakar, Senegal, for the year-abroad French language programme and associates with the Daniel Serrano Theatre. Acts in Dapo Adelugba's That Scoundrel Suberu, an adaptation of Moliere's Le Fourberies Scapin. Produces Moliere's The Doctor in spite of Himself and The Invalid, and his own Oduduwa, Don't Go, Behind the Ballot Box and You have Lost Your Fine Face

1968 Obtains Diplome d'Etudes Superieures, Dakar. Becomes the President of the University of Ibadan Dramatic Society

1969 Graduated BA (Hons) in French, University of Ibadan. Premieres A Restless Run of Locusts.. Enrolls on the Graduate Studies Programme at Ibadan

1971 Acts in Wole Soyinka's premiere production of Madmen and Specialists

1972 Weds Adenike Oyinlola Adedipe

1972-73 French Government Scholarship for Graduate study. Attends Universite de Paris III, Paris, France. Associates with Jean Serreau. Appointed Editor/Translator for the Ford Foundation, Nigeria. Commissioned as Tranlator of Kourouma's Les Soleils des Independences and Alain Ricard's Theatre et Nationalisme

1973 Appointed Assistant Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages, University of Ibadan

1974 Obtains his PhD with dissertation, "The Origins of Drama in West Africa: A Study of the Development of Drama from the Traditional Forms to the Modern Theatre in English and French." Acts in Jean Genet's The Blacks. Founds Opon Ifa, a poetry chap-book

1975: Publishes Kolera kolej (novel), A Restless Run of Locusts and Somewhere in A War Period (short story)

1976 PremieresThe Chattering and the Song at Ibadan. Translated into French by Nicole Medjigbodo and published as La Trame et la Chaine in Peuples Noirs, Peuples Africains, no. 13, pp. 90-118; no. 14, pp. 133-157; and no. 15, pp. 163-171. Publishes War's Aftermath (poem), Kijipa Ekun (short story), Oduma: Two Variations -- A Theme (poem) and Wole Soyinka's Ogun Abibiman in Opon Ifa. Stage adaptation of Kolera Kolej produced by Dexter Lindersay at Ibadan

1977 Assists Dapo Adelugba in directing Nigeria's drama entry to the 2nd World Black Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC '77), Wale Ogunyemi's Langbodo. PremieresWho's Afraid of Solarin?. The Chattering and the Song published

1978 Who's Afraid of Solarin and Like a Dead Clock Now (poems) published. Premiere of Once Upon Four Robbers at Ibadan. Promoted Senior Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages,University of Ibadan

1979 Founds Kakaun Sela Kompany, a semi-professional theatre group at Ibadan. Premieres Morountodun at Arts Theatre, Ibadan

1980 Presents "Beyond Translation: A Comparative Look at Tragic Paradigms and the Dramaturgy of Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi" at the Inaugural Congress and First National Symposium on Translation and Interpretation of the Nigerian Association of Translators and Interpreters (NATI), University of Lagos, Nigeria. Premieres Birthdays Are Not For Dying, The Inspector and the Hero and Fires Burn and Die Hard. Publishes Once Upon Four Robbers. Transfers his appointment from the Department of Modern Languages to the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan

1981 Delivers "Do the Humanities Humanize? - A Dramatist's Encounter With Anarchy and the Nigerian Intellectual Culture" at the 2nd Faculty of Arts Lecture, University of Ibadan. Visiting Professor, Universite du Benin, Lome, Togo

1982 Awarded the City of Pennsylvania Bell Award for Artistic Performance for his role in A Flash in the Sun. Oriki of A Grasshopper and The Midnight Hotel premiered. Publishes Morountodun and Other Plays. Appointed Foundational Editorial Board Member and the Arts Editor of The Guardian, Lagos

1983 Morountodun and Other Plays wins the first Association of Nigerian Authors' (ANA) Prize for Literature. Appointed Professor of Drama, University of Benin-City, Nigeria. Directs Farewell to a Cannibal Rage at the University of Pennsylvania, USA

1984 Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels premiered at Benin-City

1985 Appointed Visiting Professor of Drama, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife. sets the record of a long run on a university campus in Nigeria with Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels at Ile-Ife. Promoted Professor of Drama, University of Ibadan.

1986 University of Ife Humanities Lecture -- "Wonderland and Orality of Prose: A Comparative Study of Rabelais, Joyce and Tutuola." returns to the department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan. Participates in the International Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, USA

1987 Presents "And After the Wasted Breed?: Responses to History and to Wole Soyinka's Dramaturgy" at the Jahnheiz Jahn Memorial Conference at the University of Mainz, Germany. Another Raft, a response to J. P. Clark-Bekederemo's The Raft premiered at Ibadan. Farewell to a Cannibal Rage directed by Sandra L. Richards at Stanford University, USA. Maami (novella) serialized in The Guardian, Lagos. Minted Coins, collection of poetry written under the pseudonym Okinba Launko wins the ANA Poetry Prize and the Regional Commonwealth Poetry Award for First Collection.

1988 Elected President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Presents "The Challenge of Translation -- Or Some Notes on the Language Factor in African Literatures" at the Symposium on African Literatures Before and After the 1986 Nobel Prize, Lagos. Produces the Yoruba version of Who's Afraid of Solarin? as Yeepa, Solarin Nbo!. Premieres Twingle-Twangle, A Twynning Tayle at Ibadan. Listed in Contemporary Dramatists

1989 : National Drama Consultant, Movement for Mass Mobilisation, Social and Economic Recovery (MAMSER), Abuja, Nigeria. Guest Writer, Annual Conference of the African Literature Association, Ithaca, USA. Serializes Cordelia (novellete) in The Guardian, Lagos and premieres Aringindin and the Night Watchmen at Ibadan.

1990 Resident Writer, Foundation Henri Clewes, La Napoule, France. Wuraola Forever, novel, serialized in The Guardian. Directs Wole Soyinka's The Road at the Arts Theatre, Ibadan. Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest premiered.

1991 Founds the Centre for the Study of Theatre and Alternate Genres of Expression in Africa (CentreSTAGE Africa), a non-governmental trusteeship organisation. Guest Writer, Annual Conference of the African Literature Association, New Orleans, USA. Guest Dramatist, African Studies Orleans, USA. Guest Dramatist, African Studies Association, St. Louis, USA. Visiting Writer, British Council, London, England. Visiting Writer, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan. Performs, with the Kakaun Sela Kompany, The Oriki of a grasshopper and The Engagement in six campuses in the USA. Becomes the Vice President (West Africa Region) of the Pan-African Writers' Association (PAWA). Grand Patron, Ghana Association of Writers (GAW).

1992 Ford Foundation Fellow, Africana Studies and Research Centre, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. Fellow in Drama of Other Worlds and Visiting Professor of Drama, St. Alfred's College, Winchester, England. Visiting African Writer, Inter Nationes, The Republic of Germany. Guest Dramatist, National Black Arts Festival and the Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Aringindin and the Night Watchmen published. Abigail (Pirates of Hurt), novel, serialized in The Guardian. At the Annual ASNEL Conference on "Defining New Idioms and Alternative Forms of Expression", Bayreuth, Republic of Germany. Grand Patron of the Arts, Pan African Writers' Association (PAWA).

1993 Fellow, Ragdale Foundation for Playwriting, Lake Forest, Illinois and the Northwestern University, Evanston, USA. Resident Faculty, The Ohio State University Center for African Studies. Appointed Principal Consultant, Atlanta Olympic Games Committee. Dreamseeker on Divining Chain - poetry (under the name Okinba Launko) and Yungba-Yungba and the Dance Contest published. Yungba-Yungba wins the ANA Drama Prize.Founding of Opon Ifa Review, a quarterly journal of the arts, primarily for creative writing.

1994 World premiere of Nkrumah-Ni!...Africa-NI!, National Theatre, Accra, Ghana. Commissioned by the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, USA to write two plays. Writes and workshops Tegonni, An African Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' Antigone at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA and publishes The Album of the Midnight Blackout. Ire Ni! (poe-drama) produced at the Arts Theatre, Ibadan for Wole Soyinka's 60th birthday.

1995 Nkrumah-Ni!...Africa-Ni! directed by Mel Neloufer at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Twingle-Twangle, A Twynning Tayle published. Presents "Medium of Change/Change of Medium: Reflections on Theatre Practice in Contemporary Nigeria" at the Africa Conference, Africa '95, London, England.

1996 Visiting Professor, University of Leeds, England. Produces Esu and the Vagabond Minstrels and presents "Warriors of A Failed Utopia? - West African Writers since the 70s" as the 2nd Annual African Studies Lecture of the Institute of African Studies Unit. British Council, Lagos commissions One Legend, Many Seasons, the stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Presents Fiddlers on a Midnight Lark at the Alliance Francaise, Lagos, Nigeria

1997 Many Colors Make the Thunder-King produced by the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, USA (February 26-March 30)

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