Born in 1974 in Ibadan (Oyo State, Nigeria), Titilola Atinuke Shoneyin is a Nigerian poet and author. The youngest of six children, she graduated from Ogun State University in Nigeria, where she earned a BA. She also attended the Iowa International Writers program in 1999.
A teacher by profession, Shoneyin holds a teaching degree from the London Metropolitan University. She is currently a deputy principal at a secondary school in Abuja, Nigeria, where she also teaches English and drama.
Shoneyin has written a children’s book – Mayowa and the Masquerades (published in 2010 by Cassava Republic). She has also authored a number of poetry collections. Her first volume of poetry, So All The Time I Was Sitting on an Egg, was published in 1998 by Ovalonion House.
She is, however, best known for her 2009 book, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, which deals with the subject of polygamy. Set in modern-day Nigeria, the book is about four wives who share one husband. It explores the intricacies of family life and relationships through a wonderful cast of characters – all part of one extended family. It has been described as fiercely funny, endearing, and provocative.
In a 2010 interview, Shoneyin talked about her motivation for writing The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
“I wrote the book because I wanted the world to know about polygamy – Nigeria style. I wanted them to know about the comedies and tragedies that take place in these sorts of families… I enjoyed writing about Baba Segi because there are lots of men like Baba Segi.”
Sources: Author’s site, Wikipedia, Harper’s Bazaar, Huffington Post
Author’s Website: http://www.lolashoneyin.com/
Selected Books by Lola Shoneyin
- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (2009)
- So All the Time I Was Sitting on An Egg (1998)
- Song of a Riverbird – poetry
- For the Love of Flight – poetry
- Mayowa and the Masquerade (2010) – a children’s book