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Dayo Okunlola

Adeyo (Dayo) Okunlola was born in Nigeria in 1956.

His parents were both academics and he grew up on the campus of Ife University. He went to a Baptist and then a Catholic boarding school. He studied for a B Sc in Nigeria, then a PhD in Soil Physics from Reading University (UK). He lectured in soil science in Nigeria between 1986-89 and was active in the Academic staff union in the University of Ife. During this period of IMF imposed structural adjustment (austerity measures imposed on the poor) and the loss of democratic freedoms in Nigeria, he contributed satirical articles to daily newspapers.

In the early 1990s he came to London where he has subsequently worked as a teacher of science in secondary schools. He teaches Yoruba at the Africa Centre and worked occasionally as a DJ playing Afro-Latin music. He lived for a time in Barbados, where he became aware of the strong connections between Nigerian ‘pidgins’ and Caribbean nation language.