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Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ on her kindred.
My alma mater often felt like an oasis from the rest of the country. We had the luxury of taking for granted many things that were elusive just outside the university gate. The roads were pothole free, power supply mostly regular and reliable. In a time when cultists were gunning down students and lecturers in other universities, we sauntered around on campus at any hour with little fear of danger. I met many of my first readers there. Most were also writers, and several became beloved friends who would shape my writing in the decade ahead. I go back often because my family still lives on campus. Each return yields a new memory.
Mayowa Oyewale’s photograph was taken on the same campus, and though it is difficult to recognise where, the verdant background evokes longing. The letterings on the signpost are barely visible, but if you look closely, you can make out the words. NO PARKING PLEASE GO TO HUMANITIES CAR PARK. Somewhere under the almond trees in that car park, a dear friend gave me feedback on a story I wanted to submit for a competition. Months later, I received a letter informing me that my story had been highly commended by the judges. Years after, I married that friend. ¶
About the author
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is the author of Stay with Me and A Spell of Good Things.
This is the #10 edition of KINDRED, a series on TENDER PHOTO. Each contributor selects a photograph from their family or personal album, pairs it with another photograph from the Tender Photo archive, and writes a short reflection on why they have selected both photographs. The idea is to find an analogy between two photographs that might be similar or dissimilar in composition, but connected to an experience, emotion, or idea.