'Dami Ajayi(1)1.     He wrote his first poem at age 11. It was called “Money” and it is lost to time. At that age, he had lofty ideas of floating a magazine with a few friends, sadly that dream died before the magazine was compiled.


2.     He studied Medicine and Surgery at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University where he met Emmanuel Iduma, started Saraba Magazine, edited Ifemed Journal (his medical student journal) in his final year and began to write his debut collection of poems, Clinical Blues.


3.     Clinical Blues in manuscript form was long-listed for the Erb-Acce Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize in 2012. He was the only African as well as the only person without an academic background in literature on that prestigious shortlist. It took another two years before the book was published.


4.      Clinical Blues was initially billed to be published by DADA Books in April 2013. Apparently the book, which took four years to write, had a more tortuous path before it came into print. In 2013, he self-published an electronic chapbook called Daybreak. It was an underground classic. Download here.(http://www.sarabamag.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Daybreak__Other_Poems_Dami_Ajayi.pdf)


5.      Dami Ajayi is also a fiction writer. He has published stories in Gambit: Newer African Writing and Songhai 12: New Nigerian Voices. Amongst his published stories is “A Beer Called Life” which he read himself here, on soundcloud here. (https://soundcloud.com/kola-tubosun/a-beer-called-life)


6.      He hails from Igbara-Oke, a sleepy town in Ondo State that has also produced eminent personalities like the late Peter Obe, his kinsman, who took moving pictures of the Nigerian Civil War.

Dami Fiction

7.       Dami Ajayi loves music. His writing is heavily influenced by music and he also functions as a music critic with published essays and music reviews. He is passively working on a book about contemporary Nigerian music.


8.     Dami Ajayi still practices medicine. Besides giving free advice to his friends and families, he is training to be a psychiatrist. He chose psychiatry because he thinks it is “a field of medicine where science most interfaces with humanity and arts”.


9.     He is best known for his love poems that sometimes explore human sexuality in the most inventive ways. His best known poems include Table for Two, You are my Flagellation and Konji Blues.


10.   He is working on a novel about contemporary Lagos. He hopes to buy a huge plot of land in Ile-Ife where he would retire to after globe-trotting for a while.

Here is the link to his book on Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clinical-Blues-Dami-Ajayi-ebook/dp/B00VEGM8JA

Additional material: http://www.ifooafrica.com/archives/1823