The event was organized by Ouida books and hosted by Pat Abah book store, held on Sunday May 14th, long over due post yes? I know. I just could not decide what exactly about the event I wanted to tell you guys, plus laziness and the fact that I just expected that someone else should have blogged about it already. All I was sure of, was that I wanted to share its awesomeness so that whoever missed this one can be there for the next.
Just like every other event I’ve attended, this event started late and if you’re a usual on here, you must already know how much I hate waiting. Since I don’t mingle with people much, waiting is really inconveniencing for me because I end up sitting alone while everyone else seems to have a lot of things to talk about with one another. Good thing about this one was, my sister was there so I just clung on to her mostly. Even though she was busy talking too, her presence made me feel less impatient in the midst of all the talks.
When it finally started, we were welcomed by the communications manager of Ouida books, Jessica Byenyan Bitrus she introduced the moderator Kola Tubosun along with the authors AYOBAMI AND ODAFE. There was a brief and awesome poem recitation about Lagos by Chika Jones. In his poem, Chika tells us how “you cannot write about Lagos from Ikeja, because there are things about Lagos you only see at Oshodi.”
Kola was an awesome moderator, very engaging too. The authors shared their experiences and respective journeys as authors. Odafe talks about his unsupportive father who wanted him to do something more ‘professional’, wanted him to be an accountant, he pursued his creativity regardless but unfortunately, his old man isn’t alive to witness his success. He also revealed that the name “Taduno” is a coinage from his name. Ayobami on the other hand grew up in a family of readers and so everyone including her mum is rooting for her as a writer. She tells of how people thought her mother was mad when she let her go into the arts.
It’s their first novel for each of them and Stay With Me is already shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s prize for Fiction award I talked about here. The authors read excerpts from their books, beautifully.
After the panel discussion, the audience was allowed a few questions and comments. Something interesting we discovered was that for Odafe, his book is not a love song but for most of the readers, it’s viewed as a love song. Another from the audience, Chimdinma Onwukwe of adrielzjournal2013.wordpress.com spoke with so much fire about how it’s very disturbing that the woman is always paid more attention to in cases of infertility (which is vastly what Stay With Me is about), Chimdinma further compared Ayòbámi’s Stay With Me to Lola Shoneyin’s Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, saying that if you love one, you would definitely love the other. The crowd burst out in applaud and laughs when she wouldn’t stop.
Just before the whole thing ended, the director of Ouida books, Lola Shoneyin introduced to us the Undergraduate Project Grant, an initiative to help Nigerian undergraduates desiring to write their final year uni projects on contemporary African books.
“Every year we will support 20 Nigerian applicants by providing:
Please read more about it here and find how to apply. Also, remember to tell someone about it!
Show was over and people got their books signed and took photographs with the authors.
Oh! I finally met a blogger (Chimdinma) in my niche I’ve been looking forward to meeting, best part about it was it wasn’t even planned. (forgive the picture quality)
If you missed this one, below are details on the next one because the guys at Ouida books are thoughtful like that. Bring your books for signing by the authors and if you don’t have them, they’ll be on sale at the venue.
Where you at the event, what did you think about it?
Have you read any or both of the books? Please share your thoughts.