Nigerian Scholar Tejumola Olaniyan died of heart failure in Madison, Wisconsin, the USA on Saturday, November 30, 2019.
Tejumola Olaniyan was an internationally-recognized scholar of African, African American, and Caribbean literatures, post-colonial studies, genre studies and popular culture studies, whose distinguished body of work serves as a foundation for other scholars around the world in African and Diasporic studies. Olaniyan’s academic homes at the University of Wisconsin–Madison included the departments of English and African Cultural Studies.
His works included Arrest the Music!: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (2004, 2009; nominated for Best Research in World Music by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections in 2005) and Scars of Conquest/Masks of Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African, African American and Caribbean Drama (1995). He was co-editor of African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory (2007, with Ato Quayson), African Drama and Performance (2004, with John Conteh-Morgan), and African Diaspora and the Disciplines (2010, with James H. Sweet).
“Teju was a brilliant scholar and an extraordinarily dedicated mentor to graduate students and junior colleagues. We are losing an adventurous interdisciplinary thinker and a colleague and friend revered for his humanity. His wisdom and intellectual generosity lifted us all,” said English Department Chair Anja Wanner at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Here are other tributes for our fallen comrade;
The ALA is devastated to learn of the loss of Tejumola Olaniyan – treasured colleague, friend, & indefatigable editor of our journal, JALA.
His wisdom, wit, & warmth will be sorely missed by all who had the good luck to know him.
Our deepest sympathies to his wife & children. pic.twitter.com/cPclyV3f4h
— AfLit Association (@AfricanLitAssoc) December 1, 2019
I would be a much poorer scholar, writer and human being if Prof. Teju Olaniyan had not been such a force in my life. A massive black hole just opened up in my emotional and intellectual universe. Binyavanga, Pius, Molara, Morrison and now Teju, 2019 has been a greedy year! pic.twitter.com/roEj8bsN5z
— Mukoma Wa Ngugi (@MukomaWaNgugi) December 1, 2019
Strength! RIP #TejumolaOlaniyan
— BibiBakare-Yusuf (@BibiBakareyusuf) December 1, 2019
I am struggling with the news that Prof Tejumola Olaniyan left us yesterday. A kind and generous teacher, a gentle genius. Rest in Peace. pic.twitter.com/RVLSzj6CG6
— Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn (@lolashoneyin) December 1, 2019
An even sadder way to end the night | Nigerian US Professor Tẹjúmọ́lá Ọláníyan is dead. We were just together in Àkúrẹ́ for the Fágúnwà Conference. What a loss! One is at a loss for words. May he rest.https://t.co/WQoueaqTnC
— Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún (@kolatubosun) November 30, 2019
Who knew, eight days ago, when Ama posted this picture, that it was a farewell dinner for TJ? How can Tejumola Olaniyan depart like that? I’m inconsolable pic.twitter.com/OTNL61uJmM
— Șọlá Adéyẹmí (@soladeyemi) November 30, 2019
We are deeply saddened by the news that a dear friend and member of our Awards Committee, #TejumolaOlaniyan, has passed away. We had looked forward to seeing Tejumola at the Prince Claus Awards this week. It is heartbreaking to hear of his passing… pic.twitter.com/elMOqVH6T2
— Prince Claus Fund (@princeclausfund) December 1, 2019
Absolutely shocking news. This is the kindest man and a rock in the African studies community. What a profound loss https://t.co/xbkHS9Wk3F
— Bhakti Shringarpure (@bhakti_shringa) December 1, 2019
Oh no. I loved that panel so much and he was outstanding. So sorry. RIP Prof Tejumola Olaniyan💔
— Sulaiman Addonia (@sulaimanaddonia) December 1, 2019
A mind among minds, Tẹjúmọ́lá Ọláníyan. pic.twitter.com/lO192cJ552
— Tade Ipadeola⚖️ (@tadepen) December 2, 2019