Kola Onadipe, born Nathaniel Kolawole Onadipe, was a prolific and renown Nigerian writer popularly known for his interesting, educating and didactic children’s books. He was born on the 14th of July, 1922 in the serene town of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. He studied Law at the University of London in 1949 and later established a Law firm with one of his friends named Abraham Adesanya.
Later on, Kola Onadipe dropped his law profession and ventured into teaching. He became the Principal of Olu-Iwa College in Ijebu-Ode, his hometown. During his days, he was known to be a disciplinarian and a no-nonsense man who believed in equality and illiteracy free society. Nevertheless, Kola Onadipe adorn the heart of every Nigerian children in the 60s, 70s and 80s with his exceptionally written books.
Kola Onadipe dedicated most of his lifetime to writing children’s books and making children happy as well. He authored over 20 books used in schools all over Nigeria. His books include: The adventures of Souza (1963); The boy slave (1966); Koku Baboni (1965); Sugar girl (1964); The magic land of the shadows (1970); The forest is our playground (1972) and so on.
Kola Onidipe was happily married with fifteen children, seven of whom are boys and eight, girls. Kola Onadipe died on December 4, 1988 at the age of 66 after suffering from stroke. He was buried at his residence in Ogbogbo, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Kola Onadipe was an icon whose impact cannot in anyway be forgotten in the history of Nigerian literature and education. He and other writers of his kind, the likes of Onuora Nzekwu, author of ‘Eze Goes to School‘, have impacted the childhood of many Nigerians and have helped to develop a society of morally upright people. Below are the thoughts of Nigerians OldNaija gathered about Kola Onadipe and his works:
Kola Onadipe helped mould a fragment of our childhood one way or the other. Back then, even those in our playgroup that hated reading read ‘Ralia the Sugar Girl’ because they couldn’t afford being left out while we sang the song in it. Kola Onadipe is/was a literary pot from which children drank words with pleasure– Rahmah Raji
Sugar girl besides expanding my imagination also thought me moral lesson – one of them was listen to your elders– Aweni Adams
Kólá Ònádípè was a man who had immense passion for children literature. His level of dexterity in his writings is simple and real. He narrows down his thoughts for easy comprehension for children– Dámilólá Òké
Kola onadipe used to be a brilliant writer in which his writing prowess and skills put we children back then off our mark to develop our reading abilities and skills– Kayode Ayobami Ahmad
Kola Onadipe’s books are so exceptional. They have great impact on my childhood. I got a double promotion in my primary school for reading Sugar Girl. It was great– Sa’ed Omipidan
Kola Onadipe’s books gave us an insight as a kid into a view of the wider world. His books teaches morals, they are historical and edifying. It’s just what kids need to read not all these modern novels– Bamidele Oluwaseun
Kola Onadipe’s works are easy to comprehend and he writes in such a way that children can easily visualize his stories with the mind. When it comes to children’s literature Kola Onadipe is a god– Olalekan Azeez Oriola
Kola Onadipe’s books really did unveil human nature to kids at early ages– Olanrewaju Adetoye
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