Born in Ibadan in 1939, Professor Ishola attended Labode Methodist School and Wesley College. He studied at the University of Ibadan, earning a B. A. in French.
He also earned an M.A. in Yoruba literature from the University of Lagos in 1978 before commencing academic work as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University.
This was followed by the novel O Leku.
Akinwumi Ishola featured in movies like Bashorun Gaa, Saworo Ide among many others.
in 1986 also, he wrote and composed the college anthem that was sung for several years in defunct Wesley College Elekuro, Ibadan.