Writers, critics, actors, musicians and creatives of various stripes invaded Subterranea, the concept boutique and bar at Ilupeju, late Saturday afternoon on March 10th, 2018 in a double bill of sorts.
Starting 30 minutes behind the stipulated time, the launch began with a live music performance by the soulful musician Celeste before the convener, Ms Safurat Balogun invited Kola Tubosun, the moderator of the conversation, on stage to introduce the multi-talented doctor, poet, music critic, Dr. Dami Ajayi.
Published by Ouida Books as its flagship poetry collection in their Poetry Series, “A Woman’s Body is a Country” has been well received by both the critical and mainstream crowd since its release late 2017. In a recent review, writer and culture critic, IfeOluwa Nihinlola notes that, “The poet seems to flit between lovers, across cities and countries, with the virility of a young man confident that time is on his side. Only in death or heart break—which is also a kind of dying—does he realize the value of what is lost. His are not poems written to serenade lovers. Rather they’re the exit notes of a retiring bachelor.”
The event was well attended by the general public as well as leading lights of the Nigerian creative scene. In attendance were Odia Ofeimun, Bayo Lamikanra, Toni Kan, Efe Paul Azino, Adenrele Sonariwo, Anwuli Ojogwu, Eromo Egbejule, Emmanuel Iduma and so many others. The event was supported by Black Towers who provided vintage wine.
In his conversation and interaction with the moderator and members of the audience Dami Ajayi, who works as a specialist in Mental Health spoke about his earliest attempts at writing. He said: “The story of how I started writing is the story of a magazine. I wrote a rubbish essay, gave it to someone who gave it to his mother who suggested we start a magazine. I wrote a few poems for the magazine. I wish I could find them. But they’re lost to time.” He also talked about starting Saraba Magazine in 2008 with Emmanuel Iduma while in University at Ile-Ife.”
Dami also commented on the interesting reactions of readers to his book, particularly the title, which has roused the curiosity of readers.
After the conversation, the celebrant and author proceeded to cut his Birthday Cake designed like his book cover which features original art by Victor Ehikhamenor.
Dami Ajayi is currently on a book tour. Catch him at the Bar Beach Towers, Lagos on the 23rd of March and in Accra, Ghana on the 28th of March