Writings of the general word's body

Monday, August 20, 2007

Meet Foluke Taylor

Foluke Taylor, photographed in Tendaba Camp, The Gambia, on 7th July 2007.
Foluke Taylor is a writer based in The Gambia, where she relocated with her family some years ago. Foluke has had an interesting life journey to the self. To identity. Born in the UK to a Nigerian father, she was never given a Yoruba name. Things changed when she met a Babalawo in London over a decade ago. He 'claimed' her, did a Yoruba naming ceremony for her, and gave her the name she bears to this day - Foluke.
From Banjul to a writing workshop in Tendaba to the Sable Litfest in Bakau and to Serekunda, I did get to spend precious time in Foluke's company - like reconnecting with a sister.


mypenmypaper said...

im first,

"A Babalawo in London?"
You mean a Nigerian Babalawo plying his trade in London, or an Oyinbo Babalawo who was trained in Nigeria and practicing in London.....a babalawo in London just sounds....

just a thought

Wordsbody said...


A Babalawo. Bonafide. Yoruba. Ifa Priest.

Upholder of the culture, keeper of its knowledge, philosophy and traditions.

I hope that clears any confusion.


Adisa said...

What I find surprising is that out of this profoundly touching tale of a writer's identity, the only thing 'Mypenmypaper' can pick out is the Babalawo. "Plying his trade in London" / "A babalawo in London just sounds" - what? Clearly the commentator only has the stereotypical 'feshisist' view of what a Babalawo might represent. Shows the very narrow extent of 'Mypenmypaper's cultural understanding. I was moved by Foluke Taylor's story, wish I could hear more, and wish her all the best.

Shey said...

mypenmypaper - there are babalawos in Cuba and Haiti you know? A babalawo is a babalawo is a babalawo. Nice post.

Foluke said...

This is the first time I have seen this post. Am delighted to remember that time at Tendaba by the river Molara. I wanted to respond to mypenmypaper but had too many words. Please see the following link