Eloghosa Osunde is Answering Fan Questions and Talking About Vagabonds!

May 13, 2022

Eloghosa Osunde has written one of the most talked-about books of 2022. Her debut novel, “Vagabonds”! introduces audiences to complex characters navigating life as outliers in a society that sometimes refuses to see them. While fiction can sometimes be alienating, Eloghosa’s work feels real, familiar even, and a reminder that beneath every smile and encounter lies a stranger’s story waiting to be told. 

While I had my own questions about the book and her writing process, I thought it’d slap harder if I invited some of her biggest fans to submit questions for the rockstar storyteller. They asked and she answered. 

What are you feeling right now? 

I’m feeling… overjoyed. I’m a little exhausted. In love. At ease. In awe. Thankful. 

How do you weave your characters into being? I’m curious about how you craft these characters in a way that feels so real to the rest of us. 

By listening to the story and what it needs; by listening to the characters and what they want to share; by thinking seriously of stories as powerful forces that can (and do) alter our lived realities. When I remember to do these things, what I choose to write about and how far I will let myself go reflects them too.

Are you a linear or non-linear writer? 

Neither and both. Some stories move from start to finish. Some start at the end, others in the middle. I do what each story needs.

Tell me about your connection to Benin and how it influences your work? 

My entire lineage is from Benin, and because of this, there aren’t many things about life that shock me. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve been there or are from there. Hard to explain, but basically, almost everything in Benin is openly spiritual. Almost anything can happen right in front of your eyes. Seeing Benin at different points in my life is part of why spiritual and physical realms are interwoven to me. I write how I see, so the stories carry this energy too.

Do you ever worry that people might misunderstand your work? 

Not so much anymore. I used to, until a few years ago. But even then, I had more pressing anxiety about people seeing my work before I felt ready to share it. If something I’ve made feels complete or clear to the people who know me or to the people it’s for, other people’s understanding (beyond that point) only affects me if I’m also joining them in misunderstanding myself. I understand my work enough for that not to happen often. I’m also blessed with readers who take their time to read what I’m saying, who share their insights as they go, and I’m so thankful for this because it makes it so much easier to ignore those who don’t.

How much of your work is really fiction? Do you see the world the same way your characters do?

I don’t know that what I write is always fiction. It’s storytelling and a kind of literature that feels personal, historic and ancient. Sometimes, I search for characters in my mind who have answers I don’t. Sometimes, I write a character as a way to reach out to a past or future self. Many of the characters I write could easily be in my life. Like the protagonist in Good Boy. Or Maro. Or May. Daisy and Divine are familiar to me. So is Rain. So is Wura. Other characters you haven’t met yet, too. They’re part of my community, so writing these stories is like encountering spirits of all ages who trust me and who I trust to help me navigate this life. Sometimes, I make that process public. Other times, I don’t.

What did 2020 do and undo for you when it comes to your writing? 

It undid my relationship with urgency. Being forced to slow down helped me make a new writing pace and practice that involves more patience and care.  

Be honest, are you TaTaFo? 

How?! DKM.

You’ve spoken about making time for work and for joy. Considering how you have a lot going on right now, how you dey run am

My daily life is full of joy and that makes me happy. I make sure I don’t miss out on beautiful ordinary moments at home or pressure myself to be busier than I need to be. I say no to opportunities that don’t serve me and take every single chance to celebrate milestones as they happen. The people in my life make that experience so much richer. I’m thankful for them.

You wrote this book for queer babies like me, and while I’ve taken so much from this book already, I still have to ask: What feeling do you want us to walk away with when we put down this book? 

I’m so glad you enjoyed this reading experience! What feeling do I want readers to walk away with? Whatever feels true. Seriously. People have been paying attention to the parts of the book that strike them, move them, or create a new desire they thought was impossible before. They’re taking scenes, language and passages, and applying them in real life. I love that I get to see this in real-time. For queer people who read this book, I hope that somewhere in the mix of things you’re probably feeling, there’s hope, courage and the reminder that nothing is impossible, whether that is a lasting love or a community of people who get you for you, or a whole new family, or dance and laughter after a rough patch. 

Is it too soon to ask what’s next? 

The answer isn’t one thing, and I’m not ready to share that yet.

Take away the inspiration behind the title. What does it mean to be a Vagabond! according to Eloghosa Osunde? 

To be free, audacious, self-accepting and gracious. To be an outsider of any kind. To be a strange thing without remorse. 

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 29, 2019

The Headies went down a few days ago, and Teni emerged as the night’s most awarded artist, taking home ‘Best Recording of the Year’ and ‘Best Vocal Performance (Female)’ for “Uyo Meyo”, Best Pop Single for “Case”,  and the ‘Viewer’s Choice’ award. Before the success of “Uyo Meyo” and “Case”, however, Teni had “Askamaya”, the breakout […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

More from Pop


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.