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.

Abíọ́dún ‘Abbey’ Ọlátòkunbọ̀  Abdul | SFHEA 

Abíọ́dún (pronounced A-byaw-doon) is Yorùbá-Nigerian writer and UNESCO Global Poetry Slam Champion 2022. Her expressive writing includes life essays and diasporic travel stories posted on Yorùbá Yonder, through which she additionally conceived the YNAD Talks event series. She is penning a 3-part autoethnographical memoir-polemic encompassing her schooling across Yorùbá-Nigeria, Scots-Britain and Japan with nuanced views on identity, ideology, social framework and prejudice - Stained Glass Eyes: Race, Family and Multiculturalism. Her first book is nearing publication and her second ‘West meets East’ is part of her PhD research. She also writes short stories centring Yorùbá culture as well as poetry on social justice and topics celebrating our common humanity. Her work has been published in anthologies; she writes/podcasts for literary magazines, performs at literary festivals/events, and presents at academic conferences

More about the UNESCO Global Poetry Slam here

Linguistic isolation whilst stationed north 
Familial interactions compartmentalised within Èdèkiri code 
Changing semantic tracks within one household 
Melding English A, B, C with Yorùbá tonal dò, re, mí 
Family knowledge embedded in secret lexical and grammatical melodies 

These word platforms bonding Yorùbá mothers, daughters, sisters near 
These communication carriages connecting Yorùbá aunties, nieces, cousins far 
Now stationed south, closer to Èdèkiri codebreakers beyond family circles 
I head towards an opus of fun dialogues and cultural exploration 
Vocal toot-tooting, basking in community and identity…chugga chug faster ọkọ̀ ojú irin a.k.a. train! 


Riding life’s journey on this London train 
Impending reunion excitement meets freshly evoked curiosity 
A melanated family quintette joins my secret compartment, filling blue vinyl seats 
The whooshing winds now supporting their vivacious voices sharing compartmentalised truths 
Family mirth, workplace triumphs, neighbour botheration…in my secret language! 


*See on Instagram

The Hammersmith and Fulham Writers Festival 2024 takes place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July, organised by Rasheda Malcolm and the WILDE (Women In Literature Development Empowerment) Foundation. In keeping with their creative and empowerment events, this year’s H&F festival of inspiring author chats, riveting panel debates, open mic sessions for poets, writing workshops, access to editorial advice, and opportunities to pitch to an agent is not to be missed! The festival also offers networking opportunities, access to booksellers, who provide books by authors that mainstream publishers often forget, to cultural merchandise and accessories for all the family. If you’re a reader and not a writer, there’s also plenty for you to enjoy. And of course, you will be tantalised with delicious African, Caribbean, and Asian cuisines!

Amongst this year’s empowering events, on Day 1 (Fri 5th) I’ll be delivering my Akéwì Poetry Workshop where you’ll inhale inspiration, awakening abundant thoughts and feelings to then creatively exhale onto the poetic page. We’ll review poems navigating and overcoming the lows before exploring verses embracing and celebrating the highs. Then let your word weaving flow forth from across the emotional spectrum, breathing air into imagined wonderlands, debilitating struggles, cognitive massages or enlightening dreamscapes. You can also respire through substantive life experiences be them perilous, playful, painful, peaceful…or a poignant patchwork of them all! 

Èrò Ọkọ̀ Akéwì a.k.a. Poet Passengers, book here and join us on these creative currents as we write, write some more, and write to exhale.

Later, I’ll be in the ‘Chained Voices - Obscured Images’ panel discussion where I’ll be lending my ‘Signs of Diaspora’ short story to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s idea of the ‘Danger of a Single Story’. Then the panel discusses how this is explored in 
American Fiction film, adaptation of Erasure book by Perceval Everett (USA) 
Dreaming Whilst Black tv series by Adjani Salmon (UK) 

Join us for this transformative literary event at West Works, White City Place, 195 Wood Lane, London, W12 7FQ.


In addition to diasporic stories from across the world, I am also writing an auto-ethnographical memoir-polemic of my global experiences starting in childhood called Stained Glass Eyes: A Memoir of Race, Family and Multiculturalism. 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 poems as well as life writing pieces focusing as ever on social justice and topics celebrating our common humanity, which have been included in various anthologies.

Composition: The Present Future (creative non-fiction: life writing)
Anthology: ‘Weighted Words’ by Peepal Tree Press - Inscribe

Anthology: ‘Loose Connections’ by Commonword - Identity
Audio file: soundcloud link
Book launch: youtube link

Anthology ‘Squat Diddley Young Writers’ by Poetry Now (Bonacia imprint)
Poem: World of Man ('The Story')

Check out my other related sites:

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

*Global Roots - British Shores: youth group workshops on the importance of exposing and challenging racism through writing, arts and media

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

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