When we read The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, her debut novel, we absolutely fell in love with Lola Shoneyin but there’s more to her than being a writer that is loved by many across the world.
Here are four things we love about Lola Shoneyin;
She is an award-winning writer
Of course, this has to be the first! Lola Shoneyin won our hearts with her style of writing and she has been recognized both locally and internationally for her writing prowess. She has received the American Pen Award and the Ken Saro-Wiwa Award for prose in Nigeria.
She is a Pioneer
If you’ve never heard of Ake Festival, we wonder where you have been. Inspired by her to see African creatives engage with the African audience, Lola created the Ake Festival to connect more young people to African literature.
She is an unapologetic feminist
Even before it become a popular concept in Nigeria, Lola Shoneyin was a proud feminist. In her words, “Opportunities that are available to men, have to be available to women. I feel we do a great disservice as a country by not letting women flourish, by not giving them the opportunity to do what they want to do; I think we suffer, we are less productive, we are less powerful or empowered economically. It’s about choice as well; when you’re an adult, it’s about ‘what do I really want to do?’ not ‘what does society want me to do?’ not ‘what do my parents want me to do?’ and not ‘what does my husband want me to do?’”
She is passionate about imparting knowledge
Her passion for imparting knowledge led her to have a successful career as an educator. Currently, Lola Shoneyin is the Director of Book Buzz Foundation, an NGO with the goal to promote literacy through the creation of reading programmes for children and to develop reading spaces.