Meet Ayooluwa, she is the blogger behind The Lit African!
1. Hello Ayooluwa, please introduce yourself and tell us about your blog?
Hi, my name is Ayooluwa, I am a Nigerian student in Canada, and I love to talk about books. Especially African books. My blog, The Lit African, is a space to share reviews and comments on the books I read, and a chance to connect with the online bookish community. Through The Lit African, I hope to expose people to the diversity of African literature & culture, and make a few friends along the way.
2. What was the deciding factor that made you go “Yes I am doing this, I’m starting my own blog!” ? Are you passionate about what you post on your blog?
I have a tendency to gush about the books that I love to anyone that will listen, and from my countless rants, I noticed that my friends started asking me for book recommendations. A lot of them were interested in exploring African literature, but didn’t know where to start. So I started a blog! Mainly to have a link to send to people who ask me for recommendations, and also to have a space to express my passion for reading.
3. How would you describe your blogging style and persona? How meticulous are you, when it comes to the conceptualisation up to the execution of your ideas?
My blogging style is quite conversational and honest. I write detailed book reviews, and sometimes share my thoughts on certain themes in a book, or what I learnt from a book.
I’m not very meticulous, a lot of my posts are driven by feeling and inspiration. I take notes when I’m reading a book, so I remember what the main points I want to discuss. But sometimes the notes don’t make it to the blog, because I can’t find the right words to say, or it just doesn’t feel right.
4. What do you want and hope your readers to take from the content you share?
I want people to have a better idea of whether they want to buy/read a book after reading my content. I want to raise questions that challenge norms, and inspire people to be more open and empathetic. A couple giggles along the way, would be a bonus.
5. What is your blogging mojo? How do you stay inspired and motivated to continue running your blog?
Let your personality shine. My blog is a reflection of who I am, and that keeps me motivated to keep it running. For inspiration, I read blog posts by other bloggers that I admire, and I read books outside my usual domain of African literature.
6. What is your long-term goal/plan for your blog?
The long-term goal for the blog, is to have a dedicated community of readers, who enjoy talking about books, and having open, honest conversations.
7. Who is your favourite marginalized main character? It doesn’t have to be from a book, it could also be from a movie, tv series, games, comics etc. Why is this character your favourite? Marginalization is the process whereby something or someone is pushed to the edge of a group and accorded lesser importance. This is predominantly a social phenomenon by which a minority or sub-group is excluded, and their needs or desires ignored. A marginalized person can be people of colour, the disabled, mentally ill, the lgbt+ community etc.
I don’t think I have one. I’ve come across so many marginalized characters that it’s hard to pick one that jumps out at me. I like Kambili in Purple Hibiscus because I relate to her awkwardness and her connection with her family. I like CJ in the movie See You Yesterday because I admire her perseverance and again, her connection with her family, how she was willing to risk everything to save her brother. I also like David Rose in the series, Schitt’s Creek because of his mannerisms and just how laidback he is about his sexuality. I’m sure I have others that I just can’t remember right now.
8. It is important that marginalised people are given platforms to shine and bring awareness to their movements and plights. If you believe so, why is it important to you?
It’s important because representation matters! By highlighting the plight of marginalized people, we are displaying the diversity in our communities and encouraging more conversation to foster empathy and togetherness.
9. It is crucial that in whatever we do, we should always strive for both equity & equality, what advice can you part with, when it comes to using our platforms to give a voice to the marginalised?
Ask for input from the group you are trying to represent. Be open to feedback and criticism, and learn from mistakes.
For book blogging specifically, I think bloggers should be sensitive to the identity of the writers featured in their posts, so that they don’t end up erasing the same marginalized voice they are trying to uplift. With the example of writers who use gender neutral pronouns, we should describe writers and the characters they create, with their chosen identity.
10. Last but not least, what’s your take on the blogging communities? What has been your experience within the community?
I’ve had a positive experience in the blogging community so far. People are quite nice, and willing to provide tips and feedback for relatively new bloggers like myself.
11. Aside from African Literature, what other types of books do you read?
I have a pretty specific taste. I enjoy non-fiction written by celebrities, usually memoirs and self-help books. I also like books that have movies because I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that the book is always better than the movie. The Fault In Our Stars, is the exception to that rule, I enjoyed both formats.
Here are some of Ayooluwa’s favourite blog posts.
What did I like about this novel? I enjoyed the references to Nigerian mythology as a whole. Several gods from different tribes were featured in the novel, and I got to learn a little about each god…
Recently, I’ve found myself reading more short stories because I no longer have the free time (or patience) to read long novels, but I still crave a good story from time to time. If you’re in a similar position, or…
Homegoing was a really good novel. I’m so glad that it lived up to all the positive reviews I read online. There were a lot of recurring themes and storylines down the family lineage, it was almost…
You can find Ayooluwa on the Social Media sites, listed below, clicking on the various names, will lead you to her account.
You also can be featured, so everyone can also see your thoughts, I’m too lazy to change the questions right now, but I just might in future, but I’m still taking on people who want to be featured. This series I hope can go on until December. Here’s the link to all the information you need to know —> Be a Guest on my Blog!