Chief Isaac Oluwole Delano: The Man, His Time, and His Significance


Chief Isaac Oluwole Delano was a Nigerian expert in the Yoruba language and culture who was born in the Ifo District of the Abeokuta Province on the 4th of November, 1904.2 He was born to the family of Chief Edmund Delano and Rebecca Delano (both Egba indigenes). His educational exploits started from Holy Trinity Primary School situated at Okenla Christian Village in Ifo. From there, he was moved to Lagos Grammar School under the tutelage of an Anglican Bishop, Solomon Odutola, and his principal, Reverend E. J. Evans. However, situations necessitated his transfer to Kings College in 1921 where he met with his lifetime friends and college mates; Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, Justice N.O.A. Morgan as well as Dr. Oladele Ajose, to mention a few. Having passed his Senior Cambridge Examinations in 1923, Chief Delano proceeded to successfully write his Senior Clerical Examination in 1924, which propelled him to join the civil service in the same year. However, a severe injury sustained from an accident in 1947 led to his invalidation from the civil service. Worthy of note is the fact that he never blended into the civil service bureaucracy, as his principles and religious faith were constantly tested by various practices within the service. His dream to become more lettered was not going to succeed by his involvement with the civil service alone, and he was not positioned in those days to enjoy the privilege of travelling overseas to further his education. He had studied shorthand, and his love for writing by default made him aspire to a lifetime of authoring. While belonging to a number of literary societies, he tried his hand at writing newspaper articles which were generally well-received by the public. He was able to maintain a following from there, and this fueled his desire to write more works for public consumption; he was determined to make his mark in the field of writing. His first work as an author was published in 1937 under the title The Soul of Nigeria. Tis feat gave him his first taste at writing as an occupation, and the happiness that followed suit spurred him to achieve more. Isaac Delano believed that the first one was always going to be the hardest. His first published work had landed him on top of the world, and he was determined not to rest on his oars.
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