OMOTOSO’S BOM BOY LAUNCHED AT DURBAN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
By: Bekekile Khuphe
Yewande Omotoso has been an inspiration to the youth who want to be recognised as future writers through sharing of ideas in her writings including poetry, short stories and her first published novel “Bom Boy” recently launched at the Durban University of Technology.
Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her father and mother and two elder brothers. The family then moved to South Africa in 1992. She attended the University of Architecture where she studied architecture, worked as an architect for several years thereafter did a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. The recently launched Bom Boy novel is her first publication and it has been described as a debut by most publishers.
She has published several stories in magazines. The stories include Labalaba that was published in the Konch magazine in 1998. She also published works in the online crime fiction magazine called Noir Nation.
Omotoso is also a gifted poet and her works have been included in the Baobab Literary Journal of 2009. Omotoso’s great work is yet to appear also in the poetry anthology, Contemporary African Woman’s Poetry that is due for release.
Omotoso has been an energetic lady always when it comes to writing and poetry. At her book launch she said she felt honoured by the warm greetings and she felt new and still learning. She shared with the students two of her poems. The first one is “The rain” and the second one is called “Stranger”. She describes her novel, Bom Boy, as partly romantic. She is a person who has done a lot for South Africa through what she writes. She also writes to make sense and her writings have created and played a great role in South Africa.
The students were informed of the importance of reading and that education begins in the library. There is no way a writer can be successful without reading. Omotoso said she started reading at a young age and she began to love arts writing. All the publications she has done have been a success and she feels honoured to be invited to the Durban University of Technology for her book launch. Omotoso has been described by Janet van Eeden (Who is she?) as “an author to watch out for.
“l am really inspired to tell stories in general and this happened to be the first one l am telling in book form, but my father was a writer of books and l grew up around a lot of books, so from a very young age l have been writing and scribbling. I have a real centre of purpose in terms of telling stories. That is really what inspired me,” she said.
Omotoso has also raised women to another level through her work in the writing industry. She has followed suit after Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer who has published several works including the fabulous Purple Hibiscus. As a writer she has been reading and students have also been encouraged to read. South Africa has been taken to another level through her writings and if only the youth and students could imitate her work, a quality South Africa based on arts can be seen.