By Chukwuma Ajakah

Diipo Fagunwa, son of legendary Yoruba epic writer and pioneer author in Yoruba Literature, late Chief Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa of Agbo Ile Asunganga in Okeigbo, Ondo, Nigeria, Tuesday last week, revealed he wrote his new novel in order to continue in the footsteps of his father.

The novel titled “Ifewumi: The Travails of Inulayewa” was formerly presented to the public on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos, Akoka.

The book launch which also held virtually was organized by the families of Late Chief D.O. Fagunwa and Agbo Ile Asunganga in conjunction with the DO Fagunwa Foundation.  The official presentation featured eminent personalities, including representatives of the Governors of Ondo and Ekiti states.

Reminiscing on the legacy of the Late Chief Daniel Fagunwa in a blurb titled, “Royal Blessing,” the Oba of Okeigbo land, HRM Oba Lawrence Oluwole Babajide, Bamgbala I, the Oluoke of Okeigbo Kingdom said: “Since Chief Fagunwa’s death in 1963, the world has looked forward to someone to continue the Fagunwa legacy. I was therefore gladdened when Diipo, his son, came into the palace one evening to break the news that… he has completed a book titled Ifewunmi: The Travails of Inulayewa, to continue in his father’s path of honour and literary heritage.”

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The author who read Philosophy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Adult Education at University of Ibadan and Disability Management at London City revealed that the book was initially written in Yoruba and set for publication in 1987, but had to be withdrawn from reluctant publishers and rewritten in English in order for him to reach a wider readership than his father did.    

Ifewumi: The Travails of Inulayyewa  is a follow-up to AdiituOlodumare written Chief Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa’s epic narrative  Adiitu Olodumare which was published in 1961, two years before the iconic  Yoruba literary genius  died in 1963. Ifewumi: The Travails of Inulayewa is an adventurous novel with many stories and a few poems infused into the main storyline. The entire story is narrated in 20 subtitled chapters and 364 pages.

The novel is narrated in the classical traditional style of African narratives popularized by the author’s father whose stories portray rich African cultural heritage, beliefs, ideal moral values and heroic deeds.  The plot of Ifewumi: The Travails of Inulayewa, revolves around Inulayewa, the epic hero whose wife was abducted by his trusted friend, Arodiyo.  The hero’s pathetic experiences as he fights to save his pregnant wife force him to learn some tough lessons about life.  The novel is replete with features of typical Yoruba folklore such as socio-cultural beliefs, proverbs, incantations, traditional poems and myths.

Although the novel has all the trappings of a traditional narrative, the author makes it relevant to contemporary society through the inclusion of themes that have universal appeal such as conflict between good and evil, cultural conflict, family life, heroism, betrayal of trust, elements of traditional and Christian religion.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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