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Lola Shoneyin

Because this weeks is the Women's Day, we want to tell you about Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. The story is about polygamy, the accumulation of women and children as a sign of wealth, success, and virility.

The story tells us that two years ago, Baba married Bolanle, who was intelligent, educated, and twenty years her junior. Her arrival at their home awakens the other wives’ hatred for her. Bolanle immediately understands that to gain their respect, she has to become a mother. This situation threatens to turn the family’s stability upside down because, without knowing it yet, it will reveal a secret that the other women adamantly want to hide.

Lola Shoneyin, born in Nigeria in 1974, is a novelist, poet, and teacher. She deals with issues related to female sexuality and domestic difficulties in Africa. Her first publications were stories for magazines, which presented the situation lesbians face in Nigeria and the repression against homosexuality.

Her life has largely influenced her work. For instance, in her first novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, she dealt with polygamy. This book, released in the United Kingdom in 2010, has been translated into seven languages. It was also pre-selected in 2011 for the Orange Prize, winning the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award and two awards from the Association of Nigerian Authors.

Shoyenin has a reputation for being an adventurous poet and having good humor and an open mind. She has often been classified within a feminist framework.

She has published three volumes of poetry: So, all the time I was sitting on an egg, Son of a Riverbird, and For the Love of Flight, as well as two children’s books: Mayowa and the Masquerades, and Iyaji, the Housegirl.

She is the director of the NGO “Book Buzz Foundation,” which aims to promote literacy with reading programs for children and create reading spaces. It also organizes the “Ake Arts and Book” festival, encouraging African artistic innovation.

For Shoyenin, bringing African youth to the African literary space is necessary. Because of this passion, she created the “One Read App.” Every time a book is published on the app, the author receives between 500 and 1000 dollars. The launch of the app resulted in 500 book sales. Although this software is currently paused, Shoyenin believes it will boost the cycle of publishing African literature when it is reactivated.

From “Libros de las Malas Compañías,” we want to give this Nigerian author a voice on this Women’s Day. Lola Shoneyin represents all the values of feminism. She fights for a society that only elevates motherhood and denies all other autonomy to women. This is not a day for celebration but to assert that we have a voice and the right to be listened to, regardless of our origins or differences.

Ana Galindo

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Lola Shoneyin's work sheds light on the complex dynamics of polygamy and the challenges facing women in Nigeria. Her stories provide a thought-provoking window into these cultural norms, much like how omegle offers a unique platform for people to connect and share perspectives from diverse backgrounds. Shoneyin's advocacy for female empowerment and literary innovation is truly inspiring.


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