Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

tolu-ogunlesi-president-buhari

The Nigerian president recently appointed Tolu Ogunlesi as his special assistant on digital/new media.

In the midst of the excitement around Ogunlesi’s appointment, everyone seems to have forgotten that Ogunlesi is a fiction writer and a poet. He has come to be known for his journalism, but Ogunlesi published a collection of poetry titled Listen to the Geckos Singing from a Balcony in 2004. His novella titled Conquest and Convivality was published by Hodder and Murray in 2008. His writing alongside that of Chimamanda Adichie and Petina Gappah graced the pages of the now discontinued Farafina Magazine. He even bagged an MFA in creative writing at University of East Anglia.

Ogunlesi’s appointment makes a lot of sense. He has a huge Twitter following. This afforded him the chance to play a pivotal role in the conversations around the 2015 election. Besides, Ogunlesi has, in the past few years, distinguished himself from the radical and stringent political tone of political activists like Omojuwa. He has used his social media influence to build a politically mature and moderate brand for himself. His appointment comes at a time when President Buhari is under pressure to include youthful technocrats in his administration.

Drawing attention to the literary side of Ogunlesi’s history is important. It allows us—the African literary community—to feel invested in his success. It is also a testament to the fact that the skills acquired through fiction writing is multi-dimensional. In many African communities, fiction writing is still viewed suspiciously as a set of non-transferrable skills. What Ogunlesi’s example shows is that a professional life born in fiction writing can lead to all kinds of opportunity.

Sending good vibes Ogunlesi’s way! We wish him all the best.

 

***********

Image from Tolu Ogunlesi’s facebook page.

Tags: , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

3 Responses to “From Fiction Writer to Nigeria’s Social Media Czar | Congrats to Tolu Ogunlesi!” Subscribe

  1. Adefemi Adejola 2016/02/26 at 02:46 #

    Congratulations Ogunlesi on this appointment. Beyond rhetorics, here is a wonderful opportunity to walk the talk and I hope we will have a good report running (fast forward two years running).
    Ainehi, hun.. hardworking Ainehi, do keep up the good work. You are a tremendous inspiration.

  2. Amatesiro Dore 2016/02/26 at 04:37 #

    “Besides, Ogunlesi has, in the past few years, from the radical and stringent political voices headed by the likes of Omojuwa.”

    “He has used his social media influence to build a politically mature and moderate brand from himself.”

    “Sending good vibes Oguleis’s way.”

    Ainehi, I noticed the above typos in this piece.

    I guess your eyes and fingers are tired much.

    Pele.

  3. Ainehi Edoro 2016/02/26 at 06:24 #

    Ama! Thank you so much. I’ve corrected the errors you pointed out and a few others. The post was actually not even supposed to be posted. Long story. It was still being drafted.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

She Cannot Write a ​Boring Sentence: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s House of Stone Praised by Helon Habila

house of stone novuyo rosa tshuma

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s novel House of Stone, an exploration of family history, colonial Rhodesia, and the birth of modern Zimbabwe, […]

Sisonke Msimang Profiled in The Wall Street Journal

sisonke msimang - wsj

South African writer and activist Sisonke Msimang, author of the memoir Always Another Country and the forthcoming collection of essays […]

Reneilwe Malatji’s Short Story Collection, Love Interrupted, is an Intimate Portrait of Womanhood in South Africa

Reneilwe Malatji's Love Interrupted

Reneilwe Malatji’s debut short story collection, Love Interrupted, was published on August 7 in the U.S., by Catalyst Press. Its […]

In Conversation with Hadiza El-Rufai, Author of An Abundance of Scorpions | Deaduramilade Tawak

an abundance of scorpions - syncity

Hadiza El-Rufai, founder of the Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation, debuted a novel this year, An Abundance of Scorpions, for which she recently […]

I Started Reading and Just Stopped Halfway and Thought—This is Really Bad | What Achebe, Soyinka, Adichie, Forna, Teju Cole and Serpell Thought About VS Naipaul

vs naipaul - irish examiner

VS Naipaul, Nobel Prize and Booker Prize-winning novelist and nonfiction writer, passed on days ago at 85 years of age. […]

This Mournable Body, the Last Book in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Tambudzai Trilogy, is Here

this mournable body - tsitsi dangrembga

This Mournable Body, the last book in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s trilogy which includes the modern classic Nervous Conditions (1988) and The Book of […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.