Concept

Amos Tutuola

Summary
Amos Tutuola (Ámósì Tutùọlá; 20 June 1920 – 8 June 1997) was a Nigerian writer who wrote books based in part on Yoruba folk-tales. Amos Olatubosun Tutuola Odegbami was born on 20 June 1920, in Wasinmi, a village just a few miles outside of Abeokuta, Nigeria, where his parents, Charles Tutuola Odegbami and Esther Aina Odegbami, who were Yoruba Christian cocoa farmers, lived. Wasinmi was a small farming village founded between the years 1845 and 1880 by constituents of the Egba subethnic group from Abeokuta. Tutuola's father and grandfather belonged to this subethnic group. Amos was the youngest son of his father; 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" (literally "the establisher of laws" or "lawgiver" in Yoruba), signified that he had an administrative position within the traditional administration of Egbaland, and that he was one of the Iwarefa of the Ogboni. When Amos was seven years old, in 1927, he 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 chief's family decided to adopt the European style of naming and take his name, Odegbami, as their last name. However, several other family members, including Amos, decided to take their father's name, Tutuola, instead. 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 two days.
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