Author of the Week — Kayode Afolabi

An interview with Kayode Afolabi. Read our review of his book, Every Woman is a Poem, here.

LE: Hello Kayode, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Kayode: I studied Medicine and Surgery at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife. I am currently undergoing specialty training in Community Medicine and Public Health, a medical specialty that is consistent with my belief in the equality of people and my passion for this to reflect in the day-to-day experiences of people everywhere – in health facilities, in marriages, in all communities regardless of the dominant ethnic group or race, in all societies… everywhere. I moonlight as a poet; my first poetry chapbook “Every Woman is a Poem” has recently been described by Bayo Adebowale, an Associate Professor of Creative Writing in English as “an authentic poetry book with ingredients of creativity employed by the poet to whet readers’ appetite.”

LE: What you do for a living? Is writing your full-time job?

Kayode: No, I don’t write full time. I practice clinical medicine and epidemiology with the University College Hospital. Considering the limited marketability for emerging writers, particularly poets, I think it too risky to start a writing career as a full-time writer.

LE: When did you start writing and what prompted it?

Kayode: Interestingly, my engagement with poetry, beyond literature classes in Secondary school, started from a want for words to express feelings to a teenage crush. I would pick lines from poems in West African verse to write love notes that eventually never left my school bag. From there, I started to write my own poems here and there.  I have a poem about this titled “My Poetry Baptism” published on

LE: Are you currently working on any book and if you are, what is it about?

Kayode: For now, I’m writing poems piece by piece and not particularly working on a collection. In the nearest future, I intend to write collections of poems more about human experiences peculiar to groups. 

LE: Lastly, what are your hobbies?

Kayode: I like to listen to music. I watch football matches. Often, I have bonding-time with my small family and occasionally, I sit out to have a drink with a few friends, from twilight to dusk, and chat about everything from the Champions League to Afrobeat.

Every Woman is a Poem is Kayode’s debut published book.

He is on Twitter and Instagram.