Yejide Kilanko

Yejide Kilanko

Love should be more than grand gestures.

—from Chasing Butterflies

Biography of Yejide Kilanko

Yejide Kilanko (@YejideKilanko) was born in Ibadan, a sprawling university city in south-western Nigeria. She read just about anything she could lay her hands on and that love for reading led her to poetry writing when she was twelve. It was the best way she made sense of the long, angst-filled teenage and young adult years that followed.

After a big, loud, African wedding, she joined her husband in Maryland, USA. For a decade she stayed home to raise their three children, moved to Canada and went back to school to become a social worker.

Yejide started writing her debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, in 2009 and it was published in Canada (2012) and in the USA (2013). Prior to 2009, she didn’t think she could write a novel, so she’s living proof that life can bring new dreams when least expected.

Yejide currently lives in Chatham, Ontario, where she’s working hard on her next book. Visit her website.

Why Worldreader loves Yejide Kilanko

When reading Yejide Kilanko’s novella, Chasing Butterflies, one cannot help but empathize with the main characters; while reading I was so enthralled in Titilope’s plight that I could not help but think of others in her situation. Writing about challenging topics such as gender based violence, Yejide employs a delicate amount of empathy, at once enabling readers to experience the impact of gender based violence while also saving them from often harrowing scenes. The fact that she incorporates both men’s and women’s perspectives purely reinforces her deep level of understanding of this issue, and ability to channel it into literature.

What is more striking is the degree to which Yejide’s work is a reflection of issues in seemingly different parts of the world: Nigeria and the United States. The characters, though Nigerian, live in Washington DC, and their behavior is influenced by both their heritage and newfound home. Again, with skill, sensitivity, and style, Yejide incorporates different identities to send a clear message: there are common issues facing all societies, and if we stopped to think about how similar we are we might be able to fix them.

Read Writing by Yejide Kilanko:

  • Chasing Butterflies

    Titilope Ojo left Nigeria for the United States over a decade ago. When things spiral out of Titilope’s control, she is forced to take charge of her own destiny. Chasing Butterflies is a courageous story about survival, change and the sometimes painful path to self-determination. Buy
  • Daughters Who Walk This Path

    A cousin’s secret propels spirited, intelligent young Morayo’s coming of age in modern Ibadan, Nigeria. Buy