The Art Space: Yewande Omotoso

Yewande Omotoso is a Nigerian-born novelist, architect, and designer currently residing in South Africa. She was born in Barbados and raised there. She is the sister of the filmmaker Akin Omotoso and the daughter of the Nigerian author Kole Omotoso.

She resides in Johannesburg at the moment. She has received a lot of attention for her two books, winning the South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author, making the short lists for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature, the M-Net Literary Awards (2012), and the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize, as well as being on the long list for the 2017 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

She studied architecture at the University of Cape Town (UCT). After working as an architect for a while, she earned a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town.

Bom Boy, Omotoso’s first book, was released in 2011. It was nominated for the 2012 M-Net Literary Awards and the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and it won the 2012 South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author.

Bom Boy finished second in the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature, and Omotoso then accepted a 2014 Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia that the 2013 prizewinner NoViolet Bulawayo had given up in her honor.

Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa, Contemporary African Women’s Poetry, Kalahari Review, The Moth Literary Journal, One World Two, the 2012 Caine Prize anthology, and New Daughters of Africa (2019), edited by Margaret Busby, are just a few of the publications to which Omotoso has contributed poetry and short stories.

Omotoso received a Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014 and was a 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow.

Her participation in literary events, such as the Aké Arts and Book Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the PEN American World Voices Festival, is regular.

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