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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Amos Tutuola

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Amos Tutuola

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Full Name: Amos Tutuola
Born: June 20, 1920
Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died: June 8, 1997
Ibadan, Nigeria
Occupation: Author
Nationality: Nigerian


Amos Tutuola was a Nigerian writer who wrote books based in part on Yoruba folk-tales. Amos Tutuola was born Olatubosun Odegbami in Wasinmi, a village just a few miles outside of Abeokuta, Nigeria, on June 20, 1920, where his parents Charles Tutuola Odegbami and Esther Aina Odegbami - who were Yoruba Christian cocoa farmers - lived. He was the youngest son of his father and his mother was his father's third wife. His grandfather the Odafin of Egbaland, Chief Odegbami (c. 1842-1936), patriarch of the Odegbami clan, was a chieftain of the Egba people and a traditional worshipper of the Yoruba religion. His title "Odafin" signified that he had an administrative position within the traditional administraton of the Egbaland, and was one of the Iwarefa of the Ogboni. When he was seven years old, in 1927, Amos became a servant for F. O. Monu, an Igbo man, who sent him to the Salvation Army primary school in lieu of wages. At age 12, he attended the Anglican Central School in Abeokuta. His brief education was limited to six years (from 1934 to 1939).

After his grandfather's death in 1936, most members of the family decided to adopt the European style of naming and take his name, Odegbami, as their last name. However, many members of the family, like Amos, decided to take their father's name, Tutuola. That is how his last name became Tutuola. When his father died in 1939, Tutuola left school to train as a blacksmith, the trade he practised from 1942 to 1945 for the Royal Air Force in Nigeria during WWII. He subsequently tried a number of other vocations, including selling bread and acting as messenger for the Nigerian Department of Labour.

In 1946, Tutuola completed his first full-length book, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, within a few days. In 1947 he married Victoria Alake, with whom he had four sons and four daughters. However, he also married 3 other wives. He is the uncle of the Nigerian footballers Segun Odegbami and Wole Odegbami.

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