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Femi Kayode is a Nigerian clinical psychologist, lawyer, essayist, poet and author. Kayode has spent the past twenty years working in advertising and has been the creator and writer of several TV shows that aired on Prime Time. In between, he went to the University of Southern California where he was a Packard Gates Fellow in Film. He was also a University of Washington Gates Fellow in International Health. Kayode has also attended the University of East Anglia, from where he graduated with a crime fiction MA. It was at UEA that ‘Lightseekers,” his debut novel won the UEA/Brown, Little Crime Fiction Award. His debut novel is the first of a series of novels about the investigations of Dr Philip Talwo. Kayode currently lives with his wife and two children in Namibia.

Kayode was born to a family of scholars with Emmanuel Adedapo his great grandfather a master’s degree holder who studied at the University of Durham. His grandfather was a judge and lawyer who studied at Cambridge, while his father was a prominent lawyer and politician in Nigeria. Femi went to school in several schools in England and then ended up at the University of London, from where he graduated in 1983 with a degree in law. He also went to the law school at Cambridge and was admitted to the British and the Nigerian bar. The Pentecostal Christian also has a diploma in theology for the Accra Ghana based Christian Action Faith Bible Seminary.

Femi Kayode wrote “Lightseekers” his debut novel in fulfillment of his thesis when he was undertaking a Creative Writing in Crime Fiction masters. Studying at the University of East Anglia, he has said that it was a teleguided process with classmates and tutors providing notes and his deadlines tied to academic calendars. It was an enjoyable process as he wrote to please himself as never thought his novel would ever get published. It was an academic program and school that required timeliness, attention and creativity. Nonetheless, he never felt much of the pressure common with many debut authors. All he wanted was to graduate from the program and prove that he was not a quitter. The writing was real fun and he enjoyed the process even though finding time as he was Managing Creative Director of one of the largest advertising agencies in Nigeria proved a challenge. Given his responsibilities at work, he often had to work in bursts close to the academic deadlines and during the weekends. However, his experience writing TV dramas under tight deadlines, the urgency and relentless pressure in the writer’s room was a huge help. Moreover’ he was excited about the idea of having something be his story his idea and baby to do with as he pleased.

“Lightseekers” by Femi Kayode opens to Dr. Philip Taiwo asked to investigate the public murder and torture of three university students in a remote part of the town of Port Harcourt. But what he never expected is that he would be bogged down in a case that is the furthest thing from cold. He is not a detective but an investigative psychologist whose work has often had him interested in why someone would commit a crime rather than solving it. But in Port Harcourt, he lands into the frenzy of a provincial airport that could leave almost anyone dizzy. He realizes that there is something very different about the case he is investigating. Working with Chika, his personal driver, he needs to deal with the men conspiring to ensure the truth about the murdered students does not get out. It is an atmospheric and thrilling mystery that paints a fascinating portrait of modern Nigeria. It is a heart wrenching story that looks at the interconnection between the third and first world, the enduring quest for homeland identity, the pervasive tribalism and the need for human connection in times of isolation.

“Allison Akene Ayida” by Femi Kayode is the story of a leading Nigerian civil servant. Allison Ayida lives during the early years post the independence of Nigeria and the civil war years. He is a permanent secretary of the Economic Development Ministry and hence he was involved in the crafting of the economy of the country after the end of the civil war. He would later chair a bank in Nigerian capital and serve on the board of several large conglomerates. His autobiography gives insights into the generation of economists and public servants over the span of forty years. It was a time of dramatic change in the politics and practice of economics in both the international and local spheres.

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One Response to “Femi Kayode”

  1. Meredith DuHamel: 2 years ago

    I am an avid mystery reader and I am so glad I discovered Femi Kayode. The Lightseekers is one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time. I learned a lot about the Nigerian culture which I loved. The main character was very likable and well-delineated. The plot had a few glitch in it that I couldn’t quite sort out, but overall it was very intriguing. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery with cultural overtones.


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