Nathaniel Kolawole Onadipe was a renowned writer of children’s literature. He has more than twenty books to his credit and has written more books for children than any other Nigerian writer. Most of his books are selected Universal Basic Education readers and are studied in primary and junior secondary schools across Nigeria.
Early Life, Education, and Career
Kola Onadipe was born Nathaniel Kolawole Onadipe in in 1922, on the 14th day of July in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He was known to be intelligent and hard-working.
Onadipe obtained a degree in law from the University of London in1949 and, upon his return from the United Kingdom, set up legal practice in partnership with Abraham Adesanya.
He later left the practice of law to become a teacher. As the principal of Olu-Iwa College in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, he dedicated his stewardship to raising excellence in his students. He was noted for being a disciplinarian and had zero tolerance for truancy amongst the students: offending students were expelled at once regardless of their familial background or societal status.
His tenure was also known for taking the school to the echelons of academic success at the time in Nigeria and for producing several alumni that achieved prominence in various professional fields and across spheres of society.
He gained the respect of the proprietor of the college – Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola – for this reason.
Onadipe was father to fifteen children - seven boys and eight girls - to whom he taught his values for education, fairness, and achievement.
Onadipe dedicated the latter part of his life to writing children's literature.
His writing focuses on rich stories bearing morals with dynamic and engaging characters. His books entertained children of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. His novels, the memories, and the feelings they elicit have remained fresh for all time.
His books have also been selected as Universal Basic Education readers by the Federal Government of Nigeria's Board of Education. This makes them a compulsory read for pupils across all primary and junior secondary levels of education in Nigeria.
- The Adventures of Souza, 1963
- Sugar Girl. Nairobi, 1964
- Koku Baboni, 1965
- The Boy Slave, 1966
- The Magic Land of the Shadows, 1970.
- The Forest Is Our Playground, 1972
- The Return of Shettima. Lagos, 1972
- Builders of Africa, 1980
- Footprints on the Niger, 1980
- Sunny Boy, 1980
- Sweet Mother, 1980
- Around Nigeria in Thirty Days, 1981
- Call Me Michael, 1981
- Halima Must Not Die, Press, 1981
- Happy Birthday: Queen For A Day, 1982
- Mothers-In-Law, 1982
- The Other Woman, 1982
- A Pot of Gold. Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria, 1984
- Beloved Daughters, 1985
- The king Is Naked And Other Stories, 1985
- The Mysterious Twins, 1986
- Binta: Beautiful Bride, Ijebu-Ode, 1988
Onadipe died of a stroke on the 4th day of December 1988 at sixty-six and was buried at Ogbogbo, his hometown in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Teslim Omipidan. (September 14, 2017). Life, Career & Death of Kola Onadipe, Author of Sugar Girl & Koku Baboni. OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2017/09/14/the-life-career-and-death-of-kola-onadipe-author-of-sugar-girl-and-koku-baboni/