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Chibundu Onuzo, Author of Welcome to Lagos

Chibundu Onuzo, Author of Welcome to Lagos

A few days ago, book lovers gathered at London’s Southbank Center for the launch of Chibundu Onuzo’s second novel, Welcome to Lagos. The photos are finally here, and we are delighted to share them with you.

A little bit of background to prepare you for the photos you are about to see. Onuzo has always been a tough one to pin down. She is a novelist. She’s pursuing a doctorate at Cambridge. She writes illuminating thinkpieces for The Guardian. She is a vocalist and performing artist. She loves fashion and keeps an Instagram page where she shares tidbits of her life as a writer-artist. She is a multi-faceted author who connects with fans in so many different ways.

It is hard to convey the grace, beauty, and intellectual acuity that Onuzo brings to her work and her life as writer. Zimbabwean novelist Petina Gappah nailed it earlier today when, after seeing Onuzo’s performance of a Nigerian gospel song, said on Twitter:

“What an absolute STAR you are . Oh you look and sound SMASHING!!

So when news came out about the official launch party of her second novel, everyone wanted to be there.

The event turned out to be amazing. Onuzo looked stunning in an Elizabeth Divine print dress, finished off with her signature afro hairdo and bright lipstick. 

The hall was packed tight. All the seats were taken. Latecomers had to stand. A live band entertained the crowd. There was also live poetry. But Onuzo wasn’t content to simply be the author of honor at the event. In a surprise musical performance, she put on her musician’s hat and serenaded the crowd in a performance that some are saying “took everybody present straight back to the streets of Lagos.”

The live interview with Onuzo was done by Africa’s publishing royalty, Ellah Allfrey OBE. In the course of the conversation, Onuzo talked about “her inspiration for the novel, her faith, her experiences living in England and much more.”

The novel flew out the shelf. By the end of the night, it was completely sold out.

We couldn’t agree more with Sarah Savitt, Deputy Publisher at Virago, who tweeted from the event, ‘This might be the best launch ever!’

Here are some of the photographs. Enjoy!

WTL17-3

The Sisi Ekos

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Chibundu Onuzo and The Sisi Ekos

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Tribe of Judah Choir

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Dire Pitan (singer) and Chibundu Onuzo

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In conversation with Ellah Allfrey O. B. E.

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Teresa Lola (Poet)

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Lanre (Singer)

Dr Okey Onuzo (Chibundu’s dad)

Dr Okey Onuzo (Chibundu’s dad)

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Chibundu Onuzo and Victor Ehikhamenor

WTL17-69

Pastor Agu and Sola Irukwu

WTL17-78WTL17-122WTL17-130WTL17-102WTL17-89

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31525607Welcome to Lagos

Chibundu Onuzo

Faber and Faber

Buy on Amazon

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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