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Nigerian theatre icon Wole Oguntokun passes away, leaving a legacy of cultural impact

The Nigerian arts and culture scene is in mourning once more following the untimely passing of Wole Oguntokun, a renowned playwright, director, and cultural advocate, who died in Canada on March 27, 2024. Though the details are sketchy, his death was confirmed by Jahman Anikulapo, a respected Nigerian journalist and culture archivist in response to an enquiry by LM.

Wole Oguntokun, a luminary in the Nigerian theatre landscape, was known for his incisive plays that often tackled pressing social issues. His works were not only popular in Nigeria but also received international recognition, resonating with audiences globally for their depth and cultural significance.

Oguntokun’s career was marked by a series of notable achievements, including the establishment of the Theatre Republic in Lagos, a creative space that has nurtured countless Nigerian artists and performers. His commitment to the arts was unwavering, and he played a pivotal role in promoting Nigerian theatre on the world stage.

His plays, characterised by their poignant storytelling and sharp wit, have been staged in various countries, bringing Nigerian narratives to a broader audience. Oguntokun’s influence extended beyond the theatre, as he was also a mentor to many young artists, guiding them with his experience and insight.


The cause of Oguntokun’s death has not been disclosed, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on through the works he created and the lives he touched. As the Nigerian arts community comes together to honor his memory, there is a collective sense of loss for a man who was not only a giant in the arts but also a cherished friend and colleague.

As details of Oguntokun’s death remain scarce, the focus turns to celebrating his life and the indelible mark he left on the arts. Wole Oguntokun’s story is one of passion, creativity, and dedication—a narrative that will continue to inspire future generations of artists and cultural practitioners.

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