Welcome to Yorùbá Yonder, a collection of diasporic stories about international travels cultivating worldly perspectives from a Yorùbá-Nigerian globetrotter.

So what happens when you have a childhood spanning three continents, starting school in Nigeria, continuing in the UK and finishing in Japan? Well, you pursue an equally international career and continue navigating life through seeing things with your own eyes, living the mantra:

             - Àwòrán kan sàn jù ọrọ ẹgbẹ̀rún lọ
                             - A picture is worth a thousand words
                                                          - 百聞は一見にしかず

And what is it I saw visiting numerous countries throughout our amazing world? Well, there are many places with several interesting and wonderful aspects distinguishing them from anywhere else. By expanding our horizons, we can appreciate the world for its diversity. In discovering the various distinctions, I certainly found great pleasure! However, when we look deeper into other cultures, we can recognise even more aspects that are similar to our own. By enjoying these diasporic stories, I also hope you will see that we do not have to just concentrate on our differences. We all have more in common than initially meets the eye, more similarities than differences, and this makes us part of one human community.

***UNESCO Cities of Literature Global Poetry Champion 2022***

You know, it’s not everyday you become a world champion in an artform you’ve aspired to since childhood. Yet, here I am as the UNESCO Cities of Literature Global Poetry SlamoVision Winner 2022! Eléyìí ni ǹkan yàtọ̀ gidi gaan, ẹ ṣé púpọ ooo!!

You can view my winning poem, cultural-appropriation rebuke ‘Strong Tea’ here:

You can also view the full event here:

I’d like to thank Khadijah Ibrahim for her inspirational session at Peepal Press Inscribe workshop leading up to the Weighted Words anthology.
Many thanks to Cara Thompson and all the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team for being so supportive and well organised! 
Special shout out to Matt Turpin for his helpful input and patience when recording the ‘Strong Tea’ video.

Strong Tea

What’s in the dried tea leaves for you? 

What stories emerge of the future true? 

What tales rise forth from the darkened wet? 

What twists and turns are yet to be met? 

But wait truth seeker, not quite so fast 

To know your future, first know your past 

There’s geographical, historical mystery 

That surrounds the roots of this ‘Yorkshire’ tea...read more

YNAD Talks 3 - Ìyá Nàìjá: Transformative Women of Nigeria | NTU Events | Eventbrite

This International Women's Day prelude is the third of Yorùbá-Nigerian writer, poet and lecturer Abíọ́dún Ọlátòkunbọ̀ Abdul’s lecture series focusing on cultural and social themes related to Yorùbá/Nigeria/Africa/Diaspora: YNAD Talks.

Being the most populous Black country in the world, Nigeria boasts many transformative women who, as leaders, originators and entrepreneurs, have compelled recognition through their society-shifting achievements reverberating beyond West African shores, leaving inspiration in their wake. 

This YNAD Talk celebrates six such Ìyá Nàìjá (Mothers of Nigeria) including:

1. Artist Níkẹ Okundaye: Her renowned skills for making Yorùbá àdirẹ fabrics were quickly recognised across Nigeria and further afield. Now the world-famous creative has the biggest art gallery in Africa, showcasing Yorùbá culture and beauty.

2. Businesswoman Fọ́lọ́runshọ́ Alákijà: This captain of industry built her business empire in real estate, printing and fashion. Overcoming great odds to reach billionaire status in a male-dominated field, her commercial interests continue to expand.

3. Economist Ngozi Okonjo Iweala: This is a woman of historical firsts (a) serving two terms as Nigeria’s Finance Minister (b) becoming Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). All the while, she proudly wears vibrant Nigerian fabrics whilst wearing vibrant intelligence on her sleeve.

4. Sculptor Elizabeth Olówu: This trailblazing craftswoman is Nigeria’s first female bronze caster, continuing in the tradition of the world-famous Benin Bronzes. Her royal lineage feeds into these cultural treasures archiving Yorùbá history and information in solid form, whilst also exploring modern and feminist themes.

5. Doctor Ameyo Adadevoh: A heroine in the truest sense, this healthcare professional correctly diagnosed an Ebola patient, then worked tirelessly to avoid an outbreak. Her diligence cost her life but saved hundreds of thousands in Èkó (Lagos) and across Nigeria. Ẹ́ kú iṣẹ́ Ma.

6. Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Our generation’s most powerful African literary voice, her books are a conduit exposing everyday Nigerian lives to the world. Her words humanise our communities and assert we should all be feminists, with Beyoncé in firm agreement!

Refreshments will be served.

Presenter: Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Ọlátòkunbọ̀ Abdul

Date:        Monday 27th February 2023

Time:        6pm arrival, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Online:     Teams joining link

Price:       free

Host:        NTU Global Week Festival

Contact:   NTU Global Lounge Team

Email:      ntugloballounge@ntu.ac.uk

More Info: shorturl.at/cjxE8

In addition to diasporic stories from across the world, I am also writing an auto-ethnographical memoir of my global experiences starting in childhood called Stained Glass Eyes: Race, Multiculturalism and Understanding. It is a colourful blend of narratives and sociology, of young Black kids navigating a Scottish world, of warm embracing diversity and cold unsettling racism, and thus a universal story told in a unique context. I read extracts from the book at the National Black Writers Conference 2021 #BWC21 during the Unlock the Story event.


During event Part 1, I read a combination of extracts from chapters 1, 2 and 3 which you can view here. You, the audience, can then decide if you’d like to get the “key” to unlock Part 2 which is a combination of extracts from chapters 3 and 4 of the book which you can access here by making a donation. Your choice to get the “key”; your choice how much to donate. 

You can read all about the #BWC21 experience in the Write On! Friday Feature ' The Key to Unlocking the Story':

2021 was the year the UK National Black Writers Conference #BWC21 finally made a comeback after being postponed like so many events by the pandemic. The normally biannual conference last took place in 2018 where I was upfront and centre, learning about the writing journeys of fellow authors of colour. Be they giving talks, delivering workshops, fostering panel discussions, or shoulder-to-shoulder in the audience, I quickly became enamoured by my creative counterparts. I, therefore, wanted to learn more about the conference organisers, Manchester-based writing development organisation Commonword Cultureword. True to their tagline, they are providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent, helping to counter so many systemic barriers BAME creatives encounter in the written arts. After participating in some of their initiatives, it somehow seemed quite a coup that I shifted from an audience member to event participant last year in ‘Unlock the Story’…read more.

After winning various poetry awards throughout childhood, I still enjoy composing poetry focusing as ever on social justice and topics celebrating our common humanity, which have been included in various anthologies.

- Poetry Now young writers anthology ‘Squat Diddley

- Commonword anthology ‘Loose Connections
- Peepal Tree Press anthology ‘Weighted Words

Check out my other related sites:

*What Colour Are Your Senses: educational project promoting intercultural intelligence in Japan (...through the Nottingham Carnival!)

*The Scottish Racism Project: research articles focusing on race relations in Scotland.

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Strong Tea

What’s in the dried tea leaves for you?  What stories emerge of the future true?  What tales rise forth from the darkened wet?  What twists ...