- Category: TOW 2012
Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992.
Omotoso studied architecture at the University of Cape Town, worked as an architect for several years and went on to complete a Masters degree in Creative Writing.
Bom Boy is Omotoso’s debut novel, published in 2011. Prior to this first novel, Omotoso authored several stories, among them, Labalaba, published in online magazine Konch in 1998. Omotoso has published the works Heroes with online crime fiction magazine Noir Nation, and Two Old People in the anthology Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa.
Also a poet, Omotoso’s poetry has been included in the 2009 Baobab Literary Journal. Her work will also appear in a poetry anthology due for release, titledContemporary African Women’s Poetry.
Omotoso, who writes to make sense of the world, is particularly interested in the complexity of human experiences and emotions, and the incongruities of life. Loneliness is a recurring theme, as is characters regarded as pariahs and misfits.
Omotoso’s love for space and structures is not only reflected in her work as an architect, but is also evident in the rhythm and spacing of her writing. Her Yoruba-West Indian heritage serves as a rich well from which to draw archetypes, themes and folklore that offer wisdom in times of confusion and turmoil. She is intrigued by the magic of collapsing cultures, enjoys mocking stereotypes and giving the imagination free reign. For her talent and the intent to tell stories, Omotoso credits the upbringing from her parents and a childhood steeped in reading and the sharing of ideas.
Bom Boy. Modjaji Books, 2011