Women We Love: Ayobami Adebayo

Her beautiful first novel had a profound effect on me.

Prior to picking it up, I hadn’t read a book in a long time because it was difficult fitting my love for reading into my now busy lifestyle.  But I simply couldn’t put down Adebayo’s ‘Stay With Me’ and finishing it left me utterly wrecked.

I was amazed by the skill with which the book told the story of the childless protagonist and her struggles to have a child especially in a culture that measures a woman’s success in the marital department by how many children she is able to bear.  Ayobami weaves a tale of despair, desperation love and gut-wrenching pain, and I instantly fell in love with her.


The 29-year-old has a BA and MA degree in Literature in English from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University and an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia.

At the recently concluded Future Awards, Ayobami was nominated for her contribution to the Arts and she took home The Future Awards Africa prize for Art and Culture 2017.

In honour of all she has achieved since releasing her first novel, we bring you five facts you probably didn’t know about her;

  • The novel Stay with me, which was released this year, was shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys woman prize for fiction. The work was also shortlisted in 2013 by the Kwani Manuscript project prize for unpublished fiction.
  • In 2016, Ayobami was named as one of the 100 most influential writers under 40.
  • During her time at the University of East Anglia, she received an international bursary for creative writing.
  • She was picked by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for the Farafina Writing Workshop. She also studied under the likes of Margaret Atwood.
  • She has a voracious reading appetite and enjoys reading fiction, politics and history and loves to bake.

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