Nigerian novelist Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and nonfiction writer Emmanuel Iduma have made their relationship Instagram official! With everything happening in the world right now, this is the news we needed to hear because of how beautiful and heartwarming it is.

In a January 27 post on Instagram, Iduma shared several pictures of him and Adébáyọ̀, including one from back in the day, along with the sweetest “love note” in the captions (which we’ve reproduced in full below). The note ended, touchingly, with the very title of Adébáyọ̀’s bestseller: “Stay with me.” Read the full caption below.

I should begin with how long I’ve loved you, to what extent, and with what intensity. Throughout the weeks we attended rehearsals as members of a choir, there were initial encounters. But none was as decisive as when, sitting alone at the back of the theatre on the last day of the music festival, you said to me, “I am also a writer.”

What I remember is nothing of what led us to speak about our private obsessions. What I remember is that I felt relieved of a secret—not because no one but you now knew I hoped to become a writer, but because no one until then had made feel as precisely recognized.

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From then on life was grander. With you I knew to state my ambitions without inhibition; just as when, weeks after our chat at the theatre, I brought to you a floppy disk containing the manuscript of a novel. This was 2007. Fourteen years have passed in swathes of companionship, broader than we first imagined. And I shudder in amusement to think of how I was then, gangly and shy in front of you, our future unknown to me except as the whisper of a plea: Stay with me.

Fellow writers chimed in with congratulatory messages. Victor Ehikhamenor, Wana Udobang, Chibundu Onuzo, Ozoz Sokoh, Sarah Irabor and many others left comments celebrating the couple’s relationship.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we are holding on to every ounce of inspiration we can get from Iduma and Adébáyọ̀’s declaration of love.

Congratulations, Adébáyọ̀ and Iduma! We are so happy for you both!

 

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A post shared by Emmanuel Iduma (@emmaiduma)

 

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