Remembering Kole Omotoso

July 31, 2023

The George Padmore Institute are saddened to learn the news of Bankole Omotoso’s passing. Kole (as he was known) and his children, Akin, Pelayo and Yewande, were frequent visitors to London, where they often stayed with their close friends, our founders, the late John La Rose and Sarah White. Our condolences are with Kole's friends and family at this time.

Kole’s passing is a great loss to the African literary and academic community. Born in April 1943, Kole commenced his secondary education at King's College, Lagos, and subsequently pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Ibadan. He would go on to obtain his doctoral degree from the University of Edinburgh, with his dissertation focusing on the Arabic writer Ahmad Ba Kathir. Working at numerous universities, he ended his academic career in 2017 when he retired from Elizade University.

Kole was a good friend of John La Rose and worked closely with him throughout the International Book Fairs of Radical Black and Third World Books (1982-1995), holding panel discussions and prose readings throughout the duration of the Book Fairs. Kole also features in both the first and second John La Rose memorial lectures.

An image of John La Rose and Kole Omotoso


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