Kola Tubosun

Writer and linguist

Lagos (Nigeria)

From November 12 to November 19, 2018 

Biography —

Personal Web

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún obtained an MA in Linguistics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2012) and a Bachelor’s from the University of Ibadan (2005). He was also a Fulbright Scholar from 2009 to 2010 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the founder of the Yorùbá Names Project (2015) at YorubaName.com. His work and writings spanning issues of language, education, technology, and literature, can be found on KTravula.com and elsewhere. He has also written for Brittle Paper, Guardian (Nigeria/UK), 234Next, ThisIsAfrica, and Aké Reiview.

In 2016, he was awarded the ‘Special’ Ostana Prize by Chambra D’Oc in Cuneo Italy, for his work in indigenous language advocacy, becoming the first African to be so honoured. He currently works as a Lexicographical Advisor for Oxford Dictionaries, contract linguist on projects for Google, and a language teacher.

His collection of poetry Edwardsville by Heart will be published in October 2018 by Wisdom Bottom Press, UK. He writes in English and Yorùbá and his work has been translated into Korean. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Project —

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘flows’, the cultural ebb and flow that undergirds the evolution of our cultures around the world, from Europe to Africa, especially the role that language plays in helping to facilitate this change across time and space, and what influence surrounding cultures have played in helping to shape our own identity through language.

What can history teach us about continuity and intermingling, from the influence of Arabic on Spanish and Yorùbá to the survival of Yorùbá as a religion in Latin America through its adaptation to Spanish-borne Catholicism, etc.