Meet The Authors & Speakers
Amy Abu as always found an escape in writing; her vivid and intensely creative imagination could only be expressed through a pen on paper; often times in words and images at times.
She wrote her first story at the tender age of 6, her passion for writing has produced several unpublished manuscripts, aged 8 years old, she eventually published her debut book, titled ‘Iremide, The Singing sensation’ a captivating and inspiring story about an unknown girl who is determined to live her dreams, a story loosely based on Amy’s relentless pursuit of her flamboyant dreams. As a budding writer and highly academic scholar, Amy’s creativity spans across different genres, she spends her spare time writing, playing dress up, singing and playing the piano.
Amy is set to publish her second book later this year.
Ayo Oyeku is a writer of prose, poetry and screenplay. He made an early mark in 2004, when his first children's book, First among Equals, was selected by World Bank for distribution across schools and libraries in the country. In 2015, his young-adult novel, Tears of the Lonely, won the Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize for Fiction, by the Society of Young Nigerian Writers. In 2016, his poem, Reeds on the Rivers, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In 2018, he emerged as one of the multiple winners of the Golden Baobab Prize. In 2019, he won the ANA prize for Children's literature for his book, Mafoya and the Finish Line. He recently published his seventh children's book, The Legend of Ataoja. Ayo Oyeku is a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Asides writing, he loves traveling and telling stories.
My name is Bolanle and I am the author of the Yoruba Children's book titled- Tani Mo Jé? An Interior Architect and Designer by profession, with great passion for community development and culture preservation. I am particular about connecting the younger generation to their Nigerian heritage by reading fun and relatable story and activity books through a modern and creative lens, which is the true representation of today's Nigeria.
Bowale is a serial entrepreneur with a deep passion for empowering female entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge to help them succeed in life and business.
She is the Founder of Entrepreneur Girl Africa, a thriving community of African business women.
She is also the founder of Kid Entrepreneurs , Nigeria's foremost entrepreneurship academy for kids aged 5 to 15 years with presence in primary schools and weekly segments in The Guardian Newspaper.
Bowale's work in Entrepreneurship has earned her multiple awards including Inspiration Award by Symbol of Hope foundation in Association with United Nations, British Council Award for Business Acceleration, and so on. and Media features by Business Day, Arise Tv, Wazobia TV, Guardian Newspaper etc
She is a Mentor and Associate Member of WIMBIZ and also serves as Director on the board of several companies.
Bowale is a Lawyer by profession , she is Married to Deji and they have 3 amazing kids.
Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha is a Nigerian writer and ophthalmologist. Chigozie wrote her first unpublished novel at the age of six. The first edition of her debut publication - Beyond the Trial was awarded the Samuel Ajayi Crowther prize in 2017. She has written six children and young adult books with the help of her hyperactive muses. When Chigozie is not performing eye surgeries, she tries to write “eye-popping” fiction, listen to music, and spend quality time with her family.
Coco is a media professional who is passionate about telling stories through visual media, and skilled at leveraging digital communities to boost brand awareness, and build loyalty. When she isn't working, she is binging on Netflix shows while wolfing down dried fruits, or getting life and Indian drama updates from her daughter.
Davidsyn is an MC, standup Comedian, Actor and Content creator. I hold a bachelors degree in Entrepreneurial and Business Management From the prestigious National Open University
Hi! My name is Dorcas Ikya. You can call me the bookfairy, the booklady, reading specialist, book whisperer!
My love of literacy started at an early age. I grew in a bok loving home. I'm also a trained educator with 17 years of work experience as a school teacher and head of school.
My work experience and passion for books has helped me start up and run this amazing bookstore called Tabithas Kids. We are fun children's book and giftstore. Offering children a range of books and literacy activities that help them fall in love with books and reading!
Enajite is an editor, freelance writer and former graphic artist. She gets paid to read: a fact that does not cease to amaze her. She tweets about dodo and other randomness from @jyte12 and will edit your work for a reasonable fee.
Farida is a social impact entrepreneur advocating for literacy in Nigeria. She is the founder and literacy leader at The Bookworm Cafe. The Bookworm Cafe is a children's literary consultancy that owns a children's library/bookstore and facilitates several impactful literacy programs for improving literacy outcomes for Nigerian children.
Farida is passionate about children's literature especially literature that are mirrors for African children. She is also passionate about literacy and loves helping educators and parents become aware of its importance.
She is a Tony Elumelu entrepreneur and a Cherie Blair mentee.
is the Executive Publisher of Quramo Publishing Limited, an indigenous media company dedicated to producing quality content for its diverse audience. In a bid to contributing to the publishing industry, Gbemi Shasore established the Quramo Writers’ Prize, which honours new, emerging and unpublished writers, and Qfest (a festival of words), which encourages human interaction, literary expression and creative growth.
Gbemi Shasore has authored several books, which include In Her Own Right, Our Money Our People and The Money People, published by Quramo Publishing Limited.
As a creative and a longtime patron of the arts, in 2010, she conceived and produced the epic and well-received stage play Ajai – The Boy Slave and has produced other stage productions to her credit since then: Ajai – The Boy Slave 2; A Past Came Calling and The Write to Freedom. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Quramo Productions and the executive producer of the movie titled Journey of an African Colony, currently on Netflix.
As an advocate for the girl-child/women empowerment, Gbemi Shasore is an ambassador of The Olave Baden-Powell Society(OB-PS), which supports girls and young women to develop their full potential as leaders and active citizens of the world. She is also a member of the Committee Of Wives Of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) and a past chairperson of the annual conference committee.v She is happily married with children and lives in Lagos
She is a certified Nutritionist with a Bsc in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, USA.
She consults at various hospitals for children of all ages; where she treats medical and dietary ailments. She creates and introduces innovative recipes designed to improve a child’s diet based on their diagnosis, physical activity and age requirements. Her experience ranges from picky-eaters to the management of genetic and chronic diseases.
She co-founded Nutrition4kidsng; which is an online platform that educates parents on the importance of proper nutrition, effective feeding techniques and must-have skills designed to introduce a child to a variety of wholesome meals between the ages of 6 months-6 years.
Through her social media platforms, she educates and shares her personal experiences on how to live in the modern world,whilst raising healthy and well-nourished children.
One of her many goals is to relieve parents of the stress and guilt of wondering how to feed their children the right way, while cultivating a healthy family lifestyle
Izehi Anuge, a Trainer, Speaker and Author is driven by excellence in every aspects of life. There are four intrinsic paradigms that drive her in her pursuit of excellence; her passion, her values, her beliefs and her aspirations.
Izehi is fascinated with Service Excellence and the mark it makes in the psyche of every individual that embraces it. This fascination stemmed from a deliberate choice to see people succeed, propelled by a craving for excellence that is not just controlled or “performed”, but learned and lived continuously.
Izehi pursues and lends her expertise in multiple areas of Values Based Education and Learning. She is an Author of a children’s book series (Captain Excellence), which focuses on triggering a Values-Based consciousness in children and creator of Gen Z Personal & Creative Excellence workbook.
Izehi Anuge is the Managing Director at Shape-A-Child and the Founder of Inspire Excellence and National Service Excellence Initiative expressing her expertise by creating a Values-Based Framework for Institutions.
Izehi daily acknowledges that values build character in individuals, businesses and Nations and helps them rise above the crowd.
When she is not working, Izehi pursues her other passions, which include music, food, having deep conversations with people and love.
Izehi Anuge’s life mission is to ensure that millions of young individuals are ingrained from an early age with the values that makes for excellence in personal, communal and National living.
Jennifer Nwokeji is an educator and author who is passionate about making positive impacts in the lives of young children, especially struggling children. As a second career educator, her life’s goal is to see that young children believe in themselves and reach their full potential. She is happily married and blessed with two biological children.
Joseph Aderoju, self-published author, illustrator, educator, screenwriter, copywriter, business development consultant, producer and TV director. His peculiar passion is teaching the next generation of writer's the rudiment of writing. He has been honoured with many invitations as a visiting author from various schools.
Kemisola Adetola is the founder of Book Hangout, a socially engaging community of readers, channelled towards redefining the reading narratives in Nigeria and Africa at large, as well as fostering self improvement through reading, and promoting social interactivity among creatives and business professionals.
Kemisola is a PR consultant at ADVerb Agency where she is working with businesses, personal brands with authors to create valuable social engagements around the theme of their books, as well as driving sales and distributions.
With her educational background in Psychology, Kemisola is passionate about applying the principles of human psychology to build an active and engaging community for brands across various walks of life.
Kimberley Ajayi-Bembe is a British Citizen who relocated to Lagos 12 years ago, she has been an early years professonal in both Scotland and Nigeria for 14 years, she is the School Director at The Nurturing Tree which started in 2017. Kimberley has a passion for building the right foundation and giving the children the necessary skills for an easy transition to school, her personal goal is to ensure the children adopt a love for books as books help develop a childs brain and aids in concentration, attention span and their social skills while helping develop early literacy skills.
Kimberley believes in mentoring her staff and encouraging them to be the best educator that they can be, she also likes to volunteer her spare time; she was previously the Chairperson for the Education Board for Meadow Hall School and is also dedicated to the Lagos Caledonian Society and the Nigerwives Organisation.
Maje Ayida is a Nigerian Wellness Coach and CEO of the award winning Health and Fitness Brand, Eden Lifestyle. The brand's Corporate Wellness program services various industries in Nigeria, from Banking to Oil and Gas. Maje spent 10 years in banking in the UK, having gone through the full education system there. He has been a columnist for two national newspapers and makes numerous television and radio appearances, educating and motivating Nigerians on healthy living. He is an accomplished international speaker, influencer, Mental health advocate and writer, and is the Vice Chair of The Spa And Wellness Association Of Africa.
Maje was named as 1 of 60 Influential Nigerians making Nigerians lives matter in 2020 by The Guardian Newspaper.
Ndidi is a versatile and prolific writer. She writes for both adults and children.
Her debut children’s book, I will Always Eat my Food, a picture book, was published in 2006. Ever since, Ndidi has gone ahead to create a niche for herself, displaying mastery in children’s books; from picture books to short chapter books and to pre-teen fiction. Her books are beautifully crafted with themes that children could relate with.
Her best-selling children’s book, A Hero’s Welcome, made the first shortlist of the Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2019. Her earlier book, One Little Mosquito, published in 2008 won the Association of Nigeria Authors prize for children’s writing, 2009.
Stories of our Land is Ndidi’s collation of folktales from different tribes in Nigeria. Her story, Timi and the Barber, featured in the Nal’ibali radio programme in Cape Town, South Africa. The story has also been translated into several African languages. The book is now published and available in Nigeria.
Ndidi was a participant of the 2017 edition of Book Dash workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the programme, participants drawn from different countries of Africa produced 12 new picture books. Mina and the Birthday was written by Ndidi during the workshop.
My Fruits My Alphabet is a book that introduces children to the beneficial world of fruits. They learn about fruits while learning the letters of the alphabet. This book is especially important this year because 2021 has been declared by the UN as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.
For Ndidi, writing stories is an amazing world of raw talent and endless discoveries. She constantly seeks for opportunities to write more beautiful stories. Prose remains her preferred choice of creative expression.
Nnenna is a medical doctor with a bias for Community Medicine. Her love for writing enables her use it as a tool for health education, as well as to motivate her readers to embrace African stories. She is also a wife, mom of four, a blogger and an aspiring movie maker.
Her books for children are inspired by her memories of the child she was, as well as the antics of her own children who are her muses, biggest critics and biggest fans.
Ginika’s Adventures is her second book. It was on the long list for the NLNG Prize for Literature in 2019. She has two new books in the works and hopes to get them into the hands of her teeming fans this year.
Oladele & Louisa Olafuyi
Dele and Louisa are both marketers with experience working for top businesses. The couple met in London in 2013 and moved to Cambridge in 2017 where Dele completed his MBA at Cambridge University, Judge Business School, and Louisa worked as a senior product marketer at Cambridge University Press. The MBA sparked an entrepreneurial bug and they knew they wanted to start a business at some point.
Whilst they had not published a book before, they leveraged their experience in marketing and business strategy to build a business plan and roadmap for the business.
Kunda Kids is a publishing and creative media studio. We are a team of writers, illustrators, editors, musicians and animators, with a single purpose to inspire the next generation of young people about ancient and modern African history and culture.
Bjorn Olatunde Lawal-Solarin is the Chief Executive Officer of Lantern Books, Literamed publications and founder of the Book Swap Foundation.
He is an award winning writer, trained in filmmaking, web design, graphic design and 3D animation.
Olufunke Oluyemi is the founder of Infant and Toddler's Corner, an early childhood education resource and consultancy organization. With a background in Information and Communication Technology, she gained experience in the financial services and Information Technology sector before starting up the early childhood organization. In pursuit of her passion and quest for knowledge on rounded education and development of the child, she certified as a Montessori early childhood educator and a Professional Early Years Consultant. She is married and their marriage is blessed with two young boys.
Semilore Okojie is a 5-year-old multitalented boy.
He is an avid child reader, book reviewer and story-teller in the making. He started reading and reviewing books at the age of two with a preference for his favorite African Author –Bunmi Aboderin Talabi; an influence that amassed his interest in African books.
He is extremely playful, witty and can talk the hind legs off a horse like a mini-consultant. He loves math, science & technology and is passionate about wild life and ancient animal history (with a specific interest in dinosaurs). He is a good gamer and is quite open minded; always willing to learn about anything and everything.
He is a contortionist/gymnast in training, potential child model and sportsman with energy levels that exhibit consistent enthusiasm and a passion for the things he loves.
His hobbies are swimming, running, cycling, cooking, inventing and imaginative play. His career goals for now are to be a pilot, engineer, super hero and fly a rocket to the moon.
Tola Okogwu is a British-Nigerian Author, Journalist and Hair Care Educator. Born in Nigeria but raised in London, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Through her books and wider writing, she constantly seeks to create 'mirrors and windows', allowing everyone the opportunity to read books that are reflective of their own experiences, backgrounds and cultures.
Her self-published picture book series, DADDY DO MY HAIR is a firm family favourite. The books were inspired by the relationship between her husband and daughters and are designed to challenge some of the perceptions and preconceptions around race and gender roles within parenting. Her books have become an excellent way of encouraging diversity and inclusion from an early age.
Tola's new middle grade series with Simon & Schuster is set in a futuristic Nigeria, powered by solar energy, fed by vertical farms and where re-greening initiatives are thriving. Against this backdrop, a young British-Nigerian girl discovers she has mutant powers and must unravel the secrets of her families past in order to save herself and her kind. The first book, ONYEKA AND THE ACADEMY OF THE SUN will be published in June 2022. Tola also writes as Lola Morayo and the first book under this name, AZIZA'S SECRET FAIRY DOOR will be published by Pan Macmillan in June 2021.
Tola lives in Kent, England with her husband and two daughters.
Tonye Faloughi-Ekezie is a wife, mother and entrepreneur. As the head of TEEOF Media, she consults on media and entertainment projects for a range of clients.
In her early years Tonye attended school and university in the UK and USA, before eventually relocating back to Nigeria, working on, and commissioning major projects for such companies as Endemol South Africa, MNet and Storm 360. Imbibed with an entrepreneurial spirit from her father, Tonye started her own company, TEEOF Media, in 2011.
In 2012 Tonye married her best friend Ugo Ekezie and in 2013 they welcomed their first child, a boy, Ugo Jr., and in 2015 their second child, a girl, Simone. However, Simone had life threatening heart complications resulting from a late diagnosis of Down syndrome. As a result, Tonye and her family had to relocate to save her daughter’s life. In May 2018 with the good news of Simone’s heart functioning as normal, Tonye was able to return to Nigeria.
With the life lessons learnt and the experience of being a mother, she created the book series “Ugo and Sim Sim”. She has now turned her entrepreneurial drive to not only raising awareness about special needs, but also to children’s content after noticing a severe lack of entertainment representing black African children, special needs children and those who fall into both categories.
Hence, the creation of “Simone’s Oasis”, a hub dedicated to black African children. Currently on all social media platforms and YouTube, kids can enjoy fun stories, books, music, videos, cartoons and more that have them fully represented! Parents are included too! Grown-ups will be able to join the Simone's Oasis community on everything parenting from how to potty train, to home schooling, to caring for a child with special needs.
The full Simone’s Oasis platform launches in the near future.
Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo is an award-winning child nutrition advocate and Founder of Augustsecrets, a fast-growing innovative child nutrition company based in Nigeria.
She is a children’s recipe developer, author, family enthusiast and gender & growth advocate for women. Toyin holds a Masters’ Degree in International Affairs from the University of Lagos, A Bachelor’s Degree in English & Literature from Kogi State University and a Diploma Certificate in Child Nutrition from the Stanford University (Online)
She is the recipient of the Graca Machel Gender Lens Award for her innovative strides in child nutrition and women empowerment in West Africa. She is the author of the Augustsecrets Meal Plan, which has arguably been the best-selling recipe book for children in West Africa along with feeding thousands of children with the cereals manufactured at Augustsecrets-Jaden’s Meals.
Her company, Augustsecrets is a recipient of several awards including the Food Safety Award by Royal DSM International in 2018. Jaden’s Meals are African-inspired, natural cereals for children sold in more than 300 stores within Nigeria, Ghana & Canada.
Toyin was listed as one of Ynaija & Leading Ladies Africa’s Most Inspiring Women 2018, and one of Nigeria’s Most Innovative Women Entrepreneurs by SME100, and also the Her Network Woman of the Year 2018. She has been featured in various publications including The Guardian Woman, Business Day and many others. Oluwatoyin was the 2nd Runner up at the first Samsung Nigeria’s Food Art Competition in 2016.
She is a sought-after speaker and facilitator on issues relating to child nutrition, personal & family development, and growing scalable, women-owned businesses from scratch. She has represented Nigeria at various global panels and programmes, one of which is the ‘Accelerating the SDG Goal 2 of ending hunger and malnutrition’ in Thailand.v She has a handful of published articles and papers to her credit, one of which is “Curbing Child Malnutrition using traditional recipes and foods” was published in the Kenyan International Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics in Nairobi.
Oluwatoyin is happily married to Olawale and they have two beautiful children; Jaden and Joanna.
Ugo Anidi's writing career began in primary school where she wrote and illustrated chapter books and sold them to her classmates. Her head basically floats around in the clouds except when she has to act as a referee between her sons and/or work as Regional Advisor of the Nigerian chapter of the SCBWI. She is currently an MFA student of the Writing for Children and Young Adults Program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Lagos with her husband, 3 sons, an imaginary dog and 200+ books.
Yejide Kilanko was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. A writer of fiction and poetry, Kilanko's debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, a Canadian national bestseller, was longlisted for the 2016 Nigeria Literature Prize. Her work includes a novella, Chasing Butterflies (2015), two children's picture books, There Is An Elephant In My Wardrobe (2019), and Juba and The Fireball (2020). Kilanko's short fiction is in the anthology, New Orleans Review 2017: The African Literary Hustle. Her second novel, A Good Name, is forthcoming in September 2021. Kilanko lives in Ontario, Canada, where she practices as a therapist in children's mental health.