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​Readings and discussions with AYÒBÁMI ADEBAYO and ODAFE ATOGUN, authors of “Stay With Me” and “Taduno’s Song”

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.”

Jessica Byenyan Ishaya (Media and Communications Manager, Ouida books)

Chika Jones doing his Lagos poem

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.

Left to right- Ayòbámi Adebayo, Kola Tubosun and Odafe Atogun

Odafe Atogun, author Taduno’s Song

Ayòbámi Adebayo, author Stay With Me

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 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.

Lola Shoneyin, director Ouida books and award-winning writer of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

“Every year we will support 20 Nigerian applicants by providing:

  • a free copy of the book requested
  • an Undergraduate Project Support Grant of N10,000 only
  • support in getting an email interview with the author of the book

In return, we expect a bound, hard copy of the project for our archives AND the author’s permission to publish the project summary on our website so that other researchers who would like to access the project can contact the grantee directly.”

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)

Chimdinma and I

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.




Have a lit weekend ahead.



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Snapchat: @kuyetasham_b


2 Responses
  • Adriel
    May 21, 2017

    This is so beautiful and detailed. Chika’s poem was so beautiful. Had no idea your sister was part of the Ouida book team. And I’m jealous. You have better picture quality. Lol. #NEWFRIENDALERT.

    • kuyetasham
      May 21, 2017

      Lol. I’ll see if I have others you appeared in and send them to you directly. Thank you! #newfriend

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