Lola Shoneyin

Lola Shoneyin Biography / Profile

Titilola Atinuke Alexandrah Shoneyin (known as Lola Shoneyin), was born on February 26th, 1974 in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria to Chief Tinuoye and Mrs Yetunde Shoneyin (nee Okupe) who are from the Remo ethnic group in Ogun State, Nigeria. She is the last born of 6 children and the only girl. Shoneyin is a Nigerian Poet and Author who was named on the Hay Festival's Africa 39. This list rates the 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African Literature.


Lola Shoneyin Age

Lola Shoneyin is 44 years old.


Lola Shoneyin Early Life

When Shoneyin was 6 years old, her parents sent her to boarding school in the United Kingdom called Cargilfield School in Edinburgh. She returned to Nigeria after her father was imprisoned by the then military government and completed her secondary education at Abadina College, Ibadan and later proceeded to study English at Ogun State University, although her father wanted her to study law. She later got her BA (Hons) degree from Ogun State University in 1995.

She attended the renowned Iowa International Writers Programme in Iowa, U.S.A, in August 1999 and in the same year she was a Distinguished Scholar at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota U.S.A.


Lola Shoneyin Career

Shoneyin's early writings consist mainly of poetry and short stories. Early examples of her work appeared in Post Express (U.K Newspaper) in 1995, which features a short story about a Nigerian woman who leaves her husband for an Austrian woman. This story initiated dialogue about homosexuality within a Nigerian context. Her works were relatively influenced by her cultural background notably providing an insight into polygamy in her Book “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives” owing to the fact that her grandfathers were polygamists, her maternal grandfather His Royal Highness (HRH) Abraham Olayinka Okupe who was the traditional ruler of Iperu Remo (1896-1976) had 5 wives.

Her first Novel “The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives”  which she was initially titled "Serpent’s Tail" was launched in the Uk in May 2010 and has been translated into 7 Languages and published in Italian as "Prudenti come Serpenti". She has in addition to her books written for newspapers, including The Scotsman. The Guardian and The Times on issues such as racism, Nigeria's tradition of polygamous marriage the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram and the elections of now President Muhammadu Buhari.

In 2012, Shoneyin was the deputy principal at a secondary school in Abuja, Nigeria, where she also taught English language. She also obtained a teaching degree from London Metropolitan University in 2005. She is currently the director of Book Buzz Foundation, Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation whose main aims are promoting literacy through the creation of reading programmes for children, developing reading spaces and which also organises the Ake Arts and Book Festival once a month.


Lola Shoneyin Personal Life

Shoneyin is married to Olaokun Soyinka, a medical doctor and the son of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. She currently lives in Lagos with her husband and four children (2 boys and 2 girls).

Lola Shoneyin Awards

In 2012, Shoneyin won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award and has twice won the Association of Nigerian Authors Awards.


Lola Shoneyin Net Worth

Her net worth is not available.


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