How Obioji’s ‘Mother, Did You Call My Name?’ Explores Social Issues


This collection of poems is the writer’s debut. Titled, Mother, Did You Call My Name, the work explores topical issues capable of eliciting healthy conversations that could engender deep reflections and transformations. 


While living in Nigeria, Obioji had a stint in journalism as well as being a volunteer at the CORA-Arterial Network (a continental network of artists), Nigerian Chapter. Since relocating to London, she has continued to ply her trade in the creative turf and to pursue her passion vigorously.


On Saturday April 27th, the multi-talented Nigerian writer and poet- Amaka Felly Obioji, launched her debut collection of poems ‘Mother, Did You Call My Name?’ in a grand style, at the Rooftop Terrace, 5, Barking Wharf Square, London. 


The collection of poems is a reflection on life, experiences, thoughts and observations as a young lady from Nigeria with a unique blend of adventures shaping her paths before her relocation to London and becoming a co-founder of Diaspora Africa, an independent media organisation dedicated to highlighting stories that centre on the movement of Africans at home and in the diaspora while exploring topics such as gender, climate change, LGBTQI+ rights, refugee politics, social inclusion and more.

Amaka Felly Obioji

The event started with a book reading where the author read interesting poems from the collection. Other writers also shared the stage by sharing bits of their literary works. Amaka Felly Obioji, then fielded questions from some of the guests while also delving into her journey as a poet and how she has eventually published her first book.


Obioji said her book ‘Mother, Did You Call My Name?’ is something people would want to curl up in bed to read as it provides them with an imaginary warm blanket while feeling seen and taking in words that relate to their everyday lives and mental health. 


It is a pleasure to have everyone. It’s exciting to be in a room filled with people who love art and poetry. Poetry is a reflection of our daily life, it’s a way of speaking when words are heavy. Poetry is important: it communicates to our soul and speaks up about social issues. It is also important to have poetry that caters to our emotions, something an everyday person can relate to and this is what my collection aims to achieve– to make everyone feel seen. It’s like reading your best friend’s note to you.” 


Those were the author’s words at the event. Feedbacks from the guests at the book launch were positive with many applauding the author’s choice to address mental health, emotions and other feelings that poets and other writers rarely explore.


At the end of the event, Obioji was on hand to autograph copies of the book. Many copies were taken off the shelves as guests showed support for her debut collection. 


Published by Sevhage Publishers, the book is currently available at select bookstores in Lagos, Sokoto and Amazon. 


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