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Bio

Lolade Siyonbola

Lolade Siyonbola

Ololade Siyonbola became a storyteller at the age of 6, when she fashioned a camera out of paper and began illustrating the stories in her head. Upon migrating from Nigeria to the UK to the US, Siyonbola documented her experience as an immigrant in poetry, fiction and visual arts.

Siyonbola founded Exodus to Africka International (ETAI) while working as a Network Engineer, to facilitate repatriation for members of her generation anxious for the connection to Home. For over 8 years at ETAI, she has conducted independent research on contemporary African culture, African History and Nutritional Healing with a special focus on the Yorubas, the Ancient East (Egypt) and the origins of Christianity; Herbalism and Vegetarianism.

Siyonbola has contributed to publications like Uptown Magazine, For Harriet, Africans Abroad, Applause Africa, West Afrikan News, Nigerians in America and others.

In 2012 she published her first book, Market of Dreams, a collection of ten years of poetry culminating in a raw, intelligent and dense autobiographical and historical volume; the first quadri-lingual poetry collection by a Nigerian author in which she translated the “Negro National Anthem” into her native Yoruba.

Siyonbola founded the Yoruba Cultural Institute to facilitate Yoruba language learning for first generation Nigerian Americans. She is passionate about language as a means to bridge gaps and continues to add new languages to her current repertoire of Yoruba, English, French, Spanish and Jamaican Patois.

As a spoken word performer, Siyonbola has graced stages at New York’s Nuyorican, Sullivan Hall, NYU, and has performed in Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Nigeria.

Siyonbola’s gift for bringing people together has earned her a reputation for unusually stimulating Brooklyn dinners. She is currently working on a fiction novel about family, love and revolution set in Africa.