Prof. Bole Butake Passes On

The famous playwright and drama producer died on Saturday, October 1, 2016, in the Yaounde University Teaching Hospital at the age of 69.


The Cameroon literary world is bereaved, following the death in Yaounde on Saturday, October 1, 2016, of Prof. Bole Butake. Aged 69, the retired lecturer, famous playwright and drama producer, passed on at 5 am at the Yaounde I University Teaching Hospital, Melen. Beginning in 1972 as secondary school teacher of English language to Francophone students of the University of Yaounde, Butake - who lost both his parents within a week when he was only four - later rose through all lecturer ranks. He became Professor of Performing Arts and African Literature in 2000. His most famous play is “Lake God,” an allegory of the deadly 1986 Lake Nyos gas leak.

According to the wife, Jane Bole Butake, he had challenges with his health of late. “His situation became serious on Thursday September 22, 2016. He was anaemic, received blood transfusion, but apparently this didn’t help as he continued losing more blood. He was eventually admitted in reanimation in the Yaounde I University Teaching Hospital, Melen,” Mrs Butake told Cameroon on October 1, 2016, in their Mbankolo, Yaounde home. She added that her husband was sick for some time, but aggravated as from March 2016. “Ever since, he was most of the time at home in bed, complaining of pain,” she pointed out.

Prof. Bole Butake retired from the University of Yaounde I in July 2012 as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences. He later served for about a year with the Protestant University in Bali in the North West Region, but could not continue because of his failing health, the wife said. He leaves behind six children. “While on retirement, he continued supervising postgraduate students. He even signed a student’s thesis from his sick bed on Sunday, September 25, 2016,” Jane Bole Butake said.

“He was a wonderful person. We got married on September 29, 1980. He was a friend who was so supportive. He taught me many life values such as being strong, straight forward, honest, hardworking... I am so thankful to have known somebody like him. He was also like a father to me, but I saw him as my friend, brother and spouse. I hope the children will emulate the values he stood for. We are going to miss him. I am grateful to all those who stood by us during his ill health,” said the wife.    

Prof. Bongasu Tanla Kishani, a retired Philosophy lecturer and poet, desc...



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