When Bobo Omotayo wrote and published London Life, Lagos Living — a collection of short stories predominately based on the author’s life experiences in Lagos — in November 2011, he did not expect that it would make a grand entrance into the literary circle.
But it did. The book launched the author-cum-public relations practitioner into literary fame as he also toured major cities across the country delivering speeches on several youth platforms. Also, that same year, he was one of the two young people selected by MTV Networks Africa to be panellists at the launch press conference for the MTV Base Meets, a pan-African multimedia campaign designed to inspire African youth by connecting them with some of the world’s most influential personalities.
“The overwhelming public support for the book is testament that its subject matters resonated with tens of thousands of Nigerians at home and abroad. London Life, Lagos Living, is a collection of short-Lagos life observations turned ‘stories’. The stories were not particularly peculiar to me; they were tales of many Lagosians and subsequently Nigerians,” Omotayo told Arts Dome recently.
Omotayo, who had his early secondary and higher education in Scotland and England respectively, however said the unique lifestyle in Nigeria’s commercial capital city remains unchanged since he published the book. “Lagos remains the same and is still as fascinating a subject as ever; I’m a people watcher, observing people in my favourite city is a treasured pastime,” he noted.
Omotayo has since gone on to write his second book, Honourable, which he described as an ambitious part-fiction novel following the organisation of a 2011 political campaign.
He said, “Honourable is a different type of literature from London Life, Lagos Living. It opened new doors for me as a writer. The story follows the trials of the campaign management team tasked to organise the lead character’s election into the Ogun State House of Assembly. The team has to overcome the challenge of having an inexperienced candidate, as well as inevitable logistical difficulties, smear campaigns and troublesome financiers.”
What is his inspiration, despite his nine-to-five job as a public relations practitioner? “I’m fascinated by three things; the Lagos elite, the political class, and domestic employees. I have written about two of these subject matters,” said the author.