Obioji’s ‘Mother, Did You Call My Name?’ launched at Rooftop Terrace, London

In a celebratory gathering on Saturday, April 27th, Nigerian writer and poet Amaka Felly Obioji unveiled her debut poetry collection, Mother, Did You Call My Name?, at the Rooftop Terrace, 5 Barking Wharf Square, London. 

The launch event, according to a statement, marked by an atmosphere of intellectual engagement and artistic camaraderie, attracted literary enthusiasts and prominent figures in the arts community.

Obioji’s collection delves into a myriad of contemporary issues, weaving reflections on gender, climate change, LGBTQI+ rights, refugee politics and social inclusion. Her poetry encapsulates her experiences and observations as a young Nigerian woman, offering readers a blend of her adventures before relocating to London. As a co-founder of Diaspora Africa, an independent media organisation, Obioji continues to highlight stories of African movements and narratives in the diaspora.

The event drew notable guests, including Dr. Darya Protopopova, founder of the London Group of Multilingual Writers; Karim Leo, founder of Sevhage Publishers; and poet Suddie Agema. Attendees were treated to a warm and intellectually charged evening of hearty banter, meaningful conversations, and networking opportunities.

The highlight of the night was the book reading session, where Obioji read selected poems from her collection, captivating the audience with her poignant and evocative verses. Other writers also took to the stage, sharing snippets of their works, creating a rich tapestry of literary expression. Following the readings, Obioji engaged with the audience, sharing insights into her journey as a poet and the inspirations behind her debut book.

In her remarks, Obioji emphasised the universal appeal of her poetry. “Mother, Did You Call My Name? is something people would want to curl up in bed to read. It provides an imaginary warm blanket, offering words that relate to everyday lives and mental health. Poetry reflects our daily life and speaks to our soul, addressing social issues and emotions that everyone can relate to,” she said, expressing her gratitude to the guests for their support.

The reception from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, with many applauding Obioji’s exploration of mental health and emotions, areas often overlooked by other writers. As the evening drew to a close, guests eagerly lined up to have their copies of the book autographed by the author, demonstrating strong support for her work.

Published by Sevhage Publishers, Mother, Did You Call My Name? is available at Adam’s Pages Bookstore in Abuja, Book O Clock stores in Lagos and Sokoto and on Amazon. 

The launch event not only marked the arrival of a new voice in poetry but also underscored the power of literature to foster deep reflection and transformation.

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