Once, I lived on the tarred, lonely highways of truth – slugging towards the looming horizons – the promised dwelling places for those who did not waver. The whole world was about being either right or wrong. I was either lost or found. That was many years ago though. Today, when I meet people, I recognize how utterly beyond right and wrong they are – how their lives are symphonies beyond orchestration, how their mistakes and failings are actually cosmic explorations on a scale grander and of a texture softer than our most dedicated rule-books could possibly account for. You see, something happened on my way – and I lost my coordinates, my map, my directives. Now the whole journey is the destination – and each point, each barren point, just as noble as the final dot. Every splotch of ink is become to me a fresco of wisdom, a beehive of honey, a lovely place – and every aching voice a heavenly choir. The world is no longer desolate and empty and exclusive; she is now a wispy spirit, whose fingers flirt through the wind – a million roads where only one once lay. And I need not be certain about the road travelled – since I arrived the self-same moment I set out.
“He is an “old soul” – a wise elder in a young body. Given the critical need for maturity in our world today, this makes him a major asset in birthing of a new level of consciousness that I and like-minded others are working toward. As such, Bayo comes across to me as another partner in my work, bringing about a new consciousness on this planet. He joins many people I have come to know around the world who are part of this conscious leadership movement which has been gaining momentum over recent years in tackling the challenges we face as a species. What sets this young African apart, however, is that he comes at these challenges from different generational and cultural perspectives than the majority of us.”
John Renesch (Author, The Great Growing Up / Founder of FutureShapers)
“Having read Bayo’s work, I am excited by proximity to the specific articulation emerging in his writing. Bayo writes of inter dimensional worlds of understanding, with the ease of expression of a seasoned cosmonaut. His is a rare and emerging talent in these transformational times we live. A handful of writers scale these multiple realities with the joy and triumph of words, language and expression as Bayo does. His writing speaks of a differentiated perceptive ability – one I believe will become more common and familiar as we all evolve at the breakneck acceleration I observe in us as a world community.”
Deepti Datt (Writer)
Bayo Akomolafe considers his most sacred work to be learning how to be with his daughter and son, Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden – and their mother, his wife and “life-nectar”, Ijeoma. “To learn the importance of insignificance” is the way he frames a desire to reacquaint himself with a world that is irretrievably entangled, preposterously alive and completely partial.
Bayo was born in 1983 into a Christian home, and to Yoruba parents in western Nigeria. Losing his diplomat father to a sudden heart complication, Bayo became a reclusive teenager, seeking to get to the “heart of the matter” as a response to his painful loss. He sought to apply himself to the extremes of his social conditioning, his faith, and his eventual training as a clinical psychologist – only to find that something else beyond articulation was tugging at his sleeves, wanting to be noticed. After meeting with traditional healers as part of his quest to understand trauma, mental wellbeing and healing in new ways, his deep questions and concerns for decolonized landscapes congealed into a life devoted to exploring the nuances of a “magical” world “too promiscuous to fit neatly into our fondest notions of it.”
A lecturer, speaker, and proud diaper-changer, Bayo curates an earth-wide project for the re-calibration of our ability to respond to civilizational crisis – a project framed within a feminist ethos and inspired by indigenous cosmologies. He considers this a shared art – exploring the edges of the intelligible, dancing with posthumanist ideas, dabbling in the mysteries of quantum mechanics and the liberating sermon of an ecofeminism text, and talking with others about how to host a festival of radical silence on a street in London – and part of his inner struggle to regain a sense of rootedness to his community. In short, Bayo has given up his longing for the “end-time” and is learning to live in the “mean time”. In the middle, where we must live with confusion and make do with partial answers. His greatest vocation is however learning to be a satellite orbiting his greatest gift, his goddess Ijeoma, and knowing the blessings of her gravity. He speaks and teaches about his experiences around the world, and then returns to his adopted home in Chennai, India – “where the occasional whiff of cow dung dancing in the air is another invitation to explore the vitality of a world that is never still and always surprising.”
In 2014, Adebayo was invited to be the Coordinator/Special Envoy of the International Alliance for Localization, a project of Local Futures (USA). He temporarily left his lecturing position in Covenant University, Nigeria to help build this Alliance for a more beautiful world. Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.) has been Visiting Professor at Middlebury College, where he taught on ‘transraciality’ (his neo-materialist take on racialization) and postactivism. He has also taught at Sonoma State University (CA, USA), Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and Schumacher College (Totnes, England) – among other universities around the world. He is a widely appreciated speaker, teacher, public intellectual, author and facilitator, globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change.
He is the Executive Director and Chief Curator for The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project] and host of the online writing course, ‘We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence’. As Coordinating Curator of The Emergence Network, Bayo hopes to inspire a diffractive network of sharing – a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’…one that does not treat the crises of our times as exterior to ‘us’ or the ‘solutions’ that conventional activism offers as discrete or separate from the problems that we seek to nullify.
Bayo is author and editor of ‘We will tell our own story!’ with Professors Molefi Kete Asante and Augustine Nwoye, and ‘These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to my Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home‘ (North Atlantic Books, 2017). Ej and Bayo are ecstatic parents of Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden Abayomi. His most fervent passions are Ej, drawing, singing, writing, designing, speaking, and travelling.
READ A FEATURE STORY ABOUT BAYO AND HIS JOURNEY HERE (Emerge Magazine, March 2019)
Facilitator/Host – We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence
Co-Host/Facilitator – One World in Dialogue (Global Dialogue Lab)
Board Member – Mutual Aid Network (USA)
Consultant – UNESCO / Imagining Africa’s Future
Executive Director – The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project)
Board Member – Real Economy Lab (UK)
Lecturer – Department of Psychology, Covenant University, Canaan Land, Ota, Ogun State