Episode 41. Art, tech and polygamy. Lola Shoneyin, Director at Book Buzz Foundation

This was a live podcast with an audience

Lola Shoneyin is a Nigerian poet and author who launched her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, in the UK in May 2010

She is currently the director of Book Buzz Foundation, Nigeria- a non-governmental organization whose main aims are promoting literacy through the creation of reading programmes for children and developing reading spaces.

The foundation also organizes the Ake Arts and Book Festival,  an annual literary, cultural and arts event that takes place in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Lola is an award-winning writer and a cultural activist.


In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How she developed a relationship with the late Bola Ige. In 1996, she got 10000 from Bola Ige to publish her poem
  • Lola wrote her first literary piece when she was six years old. How?
  • How did Lola cope as a 6-year-old boarding school student in England?
  • The importance of making a connection between a book and the writer
  • What is the advantage of engaging with and consuming literature at a very early age?
  • “It is important to be in a space where you love what you are doing” What did Lola mean by this?
  • The difference between approval and acceptance
  • The biggest tragedy of the country. What is it? How does it affect creative young people?
  • Ake Festival has always held in Abeokuta. Why is it moving to Lagos? What is the vision for the festival?
  • Lola is working on a reader app and an innovation hub for creatives. What should you expect?
  • The importance of data in leading the future
  • Lola says she is jealous of scientists. What does she mean?
  • And more

Selected links from this episode

Sterling bank



Roving heights

Ake festival

Selected book from this episode

Underground railroad

The general theory of oblivion


Building The Future Podcast Season 2 is in partnership with the British Council Nigeria. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. You can learn more about their activities here.


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Episode 41