Gboyega Odubanjo, a talented British-Nigerian poet, left a lasting legacy in the world of poetry with his unique voice and literary contributions. Known for his works, “While I Yet Live” and the collection “Aunty Uncle Poems,” Odubanjo was also an influential editor and scholar in the literary community.
Early Life and Education
Gboyega Odubanjo was born and raised in the vibrant city of London. His journey in academia and poetry began at the University of East Anglia, where he pursued his education from 2014 to 2019. In 2017, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy, followed by a Master’s degree in poetry in 2018. At the time of his passing, he was working diligently towards a PhD in creative writing at the University of Hertfordshire.
In 2019, Gboyega Odubanjo achieved a significant milestone with the publication of his debut collection, “While I Yet Live,” which was released by Bad Betty Press. His creative talents extended beyond writing, as he also served as a board member and former guest editor for Magma Poetry, showcasing his commitment to promoting the art of poetry.
Disappearance and Tragic Passing
A cloud of sadness descended upon the poetry community when Gboyega Odubanjo’s life was tragically cut short. On August 26, he attended the Shambala Festival in Northamptonshire, where he was slated to perform on August 27. However, his friends grew concerned when he failed to appear for his poetry set on the designated day. This prompted a search, and local authorities were called in to assist.
Regrettably, on August 31, Gboyega Odubanjo’s lifeless body was discovered near Kelmarsh. Police stated that there were “no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.” However, his family and close friends voiced their concerns about the search process, asserting that it had been conducted too slowly. They also raised questions about the safety measures in place at the Shambala Festival, expressing their belief that more safeguards should have been implemented to protect attendees.
Awards and Recognitions
Gboyega Odubanjo’s poetic talents did not go unnoticed, and he received recognition for his outstanding work:
- 2020 OutSpoken Prize for Poetry (shortlisted) for “While I Yet Live.”
- 2020 Poetry Business New Poet’s Prize for “Aunty Uncle Poems.”
- Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors for his contributions to the literary world.
- 2021 Michael Marks Pamphlet Award for “Aunty Uncle Poems,” further cementing his status as a respected poet.
In his relatively short but impactful career, Gboyega Odubanjo left an indelible mark on the world of poetry, touching the hearts and minds of readers and fellow poets alike. His work will continue to be celebrated and cherished by those who appreciate the beauty and power of words.