Why I love Taiye Selasie – Jite Efemuaye

Why I love Taiye Selasie – Jite Efemuaye

Warning: Read this with literary ‘fan girl’ at the back of your mind. Thanks.

That title might just be a tad misleading. It should be why ‘we’, but my friends are wont to deny me in public with ‘who send you message’ so I’m claiming this one for myself. Confession: I haven’t read Ghana Must Go, something I intend to remedy soon. I am afterall at the Ake Arts and Book Festival at which I run the risk of turning my account red; their bookstore is the truth.

Back to Taiye Selasie. I have read interviews and articles but hearing her speak in person was a different thing all together. I was at the panel discussion on ‘Call and Response: African Writers Writing Back’ which looked at how writers of African descent dealt with writing about Africa from a distance.

The discussion was animated –  there’ll be another post on it – , with the writers going back and forth on identity and ethnicity and nationhood and how Africa is where the African is etc etc. There was a time when the mic refused to work whenever Taiye Selasie touched it (in my head I thought ‘village people have find her and come’); but the way she handled it, her sense of humour, her straining her voice so everyone could hear her smoothed a situation that could have been awkward .

Taiye Selasie
Am I the only one that sees movement in this photo?

The way she made her points, clear; there was no doubt about what she meant. And she was deep without even trying.

Here are a few other reasons

  1. Her name. Taiye Selasie. It’s just so together, like it was meant to be.
  2. Her personality. She has so much oomph.
  3. Her smile. It says, ‘come share this joy with me.’
  4. Her writing. Her use of words is like a flowing river. I wasn’t surprised to learn she writes poetry.
  5. Her style. I legit took a photo of the dress she was wearing. Who knew ankara-covered buttons could give such life to a dress?

I shouldn’t claim to love someone I only just met; but it is the rare person that can invoke a sense awe just by being themselves.

Taiye Selasie if you ever get to read this *insert appropriate fan girl action of your choice*

Ps: I was seated beside her mother, lovely woman. She offered me mint. I have a soft spot for people who offer me anything I can eat. I think I love her too.

Taiye Selasie
That’s me in black, live tweeting; Taiye Selasies mum on my right, poet Dami Ajayi on my left. From the angle I’d say they were both looking at Taiye Selasie as she spoke.

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1 Comment

  1. Tochi Eze

    I love Taiye Selasi too. In fact, more than you sef. Lol. Seriously though, I read ‘Ghana Must Go’ and was completely blown away. The story is riveting, her technique is flawless.


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