Ayobami Adebayo

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (born 29 January 1988) is a Nigerian writer.[2] Her 2017 debut novel, Stay With Me, won the 9mobile Prize for Literature and thePrix Les Afriques.[3] She was awarded the Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture in 2017.[4]

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Ayobami Adebayo.jpg
Born29 January 1988 (1988-01-29) (age 34)
EducationObafemi Awolowo University University of East Anglia
Notable work
Stay With Me (2017)
Spouse(s)Emmanuel Iduma, m. 2021[1]
Awards9mobile Prize for Literature

Prix Les Afriques

The Future Awards Africa

Personal lifeEdit

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1988; shortly after, her family moved to Ilesa and then to Ile-Ife, where she spent most of her childhood in the University Staff Quarters of Obafemi Awolowo University.[5] She is married to Emmanuel Iduma.[6]

Writing careerEdit

Adébáyọ̀ studied at Obafemi Awolowo University, earning BA and MA degrees in Literature in English. She went to study Creative Writing (MA Prose fiction) at the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an International Bursary.[7][8] She has also studied writing with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood.[9][10]

In 2015, Adébáyọ̀ was listed by the Financial Times as one of the bright stars of Nigerian literature.[11]

Her debut novel, Stay With Me, was published in 2017 by Canongate Books to critical acclaim.[12][13][14] Michiko Kakutani in her review of Stay With Me for The New York Times described Adébáyọ̀ as "an exceptional storyteller", adding: "She writes not just with extraordinary grace but with genuine wisdom about love and loss and the possibility of redemption. She has written a powerfully magnetic and heartbreaking book."[15] The book was subsequently published in the US by Alfred A. Knopf and in Nigeria by Ouida Books. It has been translated into more than 18 languages. It was selected as notable book of the year by several publications, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian.[16][17]

Stay with Me was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize,[18] the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction,[7][19][20] as well as for the 9mobile Prize for Literature,[21] which the novel won in 2019.[22][23] It was also long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize.[24]

Prior to publication, the novel had been shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project,[25][26][27] a prize for unpublished fiction. The series editor is Ellah Wakatama Allfrey.[28]

In 2020, Reste Avec Moi, the French translation of Stay with Me, was awarded the Prix Les Afriques. The translation by Josette Chicheportiche was published in 2019 by Charleston Editions.[29]

Adébáyọ̀ has been a writer in residence at Ledig House Omi, Hedgebrook, Sinthian Cultural Institute, Ox-Bow School of Art, MacDowell Colony and Ebedi Hills.[30][31][32] She was shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.[27][33][34][35]

Her second novel, A Spell of Good Things, is due for publication in 2022.[36]



  • Stay with Me. Knopf, 2017, US. Canongate Books, 2017, UK (ISBN 978-1782119463).[37]
  • A Spell of Good Things, Canongate, forthcoming in 2022.

Other writingEdit

One of Adébáyọ̀'s stories was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.[9] Her poems and stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, including East Jasmine Review, Farafina Magazine, Saraba Magazine, Kalahari Review, Lawino Magazine, Speaking for the Generations: An Anthology of New African Writing, Off the Coast: Maine’s International Journal of Poetry, Ilanot Review, Gambit: Newer African Writing,[38] and New Daughters of Africa: An international anthology of writing by women of African descent (edited by Margaret Busby).[39] Adébáyọ̀ has also written non-fiction pieces for Elle UK and the BBC.[40][41]



  1. ^ "Our Favorite Love Story of 2021: Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and Emmanuel Iduma's Insta Love Notes". Brittle Paper. 14 February 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ "When fake news is funny (and when it's not)". Financial Times. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  3. ^ Murua, James (8 August 2019). "Ayobami Adebayo is 9mobile Prize for Literature 2017 winner". James Murua's African Literature Blog.
  4. ^ a b Ndeche, Chidirim (10 December 2017). "The Future Awards Africa 2017: Full List Of Winners". guardian.ng. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  5. ^ Cain, Sian; Claire Armitstead; produced by Susannah Tresilian (14 March 2017). "Baileys longlist author Ayòbámi Adébáyò, and London book fair – books podcast" (podcast). The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^ Obi-Young, Otosirieze (28 January 2021). "Novelists Emmanuel Iduma & Ayobami Adebayo Are Married, Share Love Letters". Open Country Mag. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b " Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo, Tying the knot after 65, Japan's comfort women", BBC Woman's Hour, 16 March 2017.
  8. ^ "The UEA Creative Writing International Scholarships - UEA". www.uea.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b Claire Armitstead (15 March 2017). "Ayobami Adebayo in Conversation with Claire Armitstead". London Book Fair. Retrieved 5 November 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Konversations with Karibee – Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ – Karibee Books". Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  11. ^ Ogunlesi, Tolu (6 October 2015). "A new chapter in Nigeria's literature". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  12. ^ Angelini, Francesca (19 March 2017). "Books: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo". The Times. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  13. ^ Evans, Diana (9 March 2017). "Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò review – a big-hearted Nigerian debut". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  14. ^ Walker, Ella (27 March 2017). "Book Review: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  15. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (24 July 2017), "Portrait of a Nigerian Marriage in a Heartbreaking Debut Novel", The New York Times.
  16. ^ Zagnoli, Olimpia (22 November 2017). "100 Notable Books of 2017 (Published 2017)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  17. ^ "The Ultimate Best Books of 2017 List". Literary Hub. 18 December 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  18. ^ a b Anderson, Porter (19 March 2018). "Wellcome Book Prize's 2018 Shortlist: Five of Six Titles Are by Women". Publishing Perspectives. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  19. ^ Kean, Danuta (7 March 2017). "Baileys women's prize 2017 longlist sees established names eclipse debuts". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Baileys Prize reveals 'daring and intimate' shortlist". BBC News. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  21. ^ Onwuemezi, Natasha (22 December 2017). "Adebayo up for £15k African Literature prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  22. ^ Murua, James (8 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo is 9mobile Prize for Literature 2017 winner", James Murua's Literature Blog.
  23. ^ Obi-Young, Otosirieze (8 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo Wins the 9Mobile Prize for Literature, for Stay with Me", Brittle Paper.
  24. ^ Egenuka, Nkem (15 March 2018). "Ayobami Adebayo, longlisted for Dylan Thomas Prize". ZODML. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Shortlist" Archived 21 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine, The Kwani? Manuscript Project, 2013.
  26. ^ Lindsay (20 June 2013). "Shortlist for the Kwani? Manuscript Prize". Sunday Times Books LIVE @ Sunday Times Books LIVE. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  27. ^ a b "100 MOST INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40. (2016 LIST)" Archived 18 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Writers Awards, 28 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is Series Editor for Kwani? Manuscript Project" Archived 2 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Kwani? Manuscript Project website, 27 November 2013.
  29. ^ Williams, Mark (29 November 2020). "Ayobami Adebayo's 'Reste Avec Moi' is Prix Les Afriques 2020 winner". TNPS (The New Publishing Standard). Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  30. ^ "Residencies & Fellowships Archived 2018-09-05 at the Wayback Machine", section, "Fall 2016 Resident Artists and Writers". Ox-Box School of Art & Artists' Residency. ox-bow.org. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  31. ^ (Italy), Siena Art Institute Onlus - Via Tommaso Pendola 37 - 53100 Siena. "Dettaglio figura - Siena Art Institute Onlus". www.sienaart.org. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  32. ^ "About Ayọ̀bámi", Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ website.
  33. ^ Jennifer (25 November 2015). "7 South Africans Make the 2015 Morland Writing Scholarships Shortlist". Sunday Times Books LIVE @ Sunday Times Books LIVE. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  34. ^ lanredahunsi (26 November 2014), "Winners Announced for the 2014 Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship for African Writers", OFA.
  35. ^ 2015 shortlist Archived 4 April 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Miles Morland Foundation.
  36. ^ Comerford, Ruth (23 April 2021). "Canongate acquires latest from 'rising global star' Adébáyọ̀". The Bookseller.
  37. ^ Stay with Me at Canongate.
  38. ^ "Saraba Talk with Ayobami Adebayo & Ayo Sogunro", Saraba, 26 July 2016.
  39. ^ Busby, Margaret (9 March 2019), "From Ayòbámi Adébáyò to Zadie Smith: meet the New Daughters of Africa", The Guardian.
  40. ^ "Emel: The Voice of the Tunisian Revolution, The Cultural Frontline - BBC World Service". BBC. March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  41. ^ "Author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ: What Post-Truth Means To Me". ELLE UK. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  42. ^ Williams, Megan (3 April 2017). "Women's Prize for Fiction 2017 shortlist announced, , with settings ranging from 19th century Kentucky to 1980s Nigeria". The Independent. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  43. ^ Malec, Jennifer (8 August 2019), "Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ announced as winner of 9mobile Prize for Literature for her debut novel Stay With Me", Johannesburg Review of Books.
  44. ^ Nwakunor, Gregory Austin (11 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo wins 2018 9mobile prize", The Guardian (Nigeria).
  45. ^ Oury, Antoine (30 November 2020). "Ayobami Adebayo lauréate du Prix Les Afriques 2020 pour Reste avec moi". ActuaLitté.com (in French). Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  46. ^ Murua, James (28 November 2020). "Ayobami Adebayo's "Reste Avec Moi" is Prix Les Afriques 2020 winner". James Murua's African Literature Blog. Retrieved 2 March 2021.

External linksEdit