Writer and Author, Ayobami Adebayo is boldly challenging the status quo, and speaking up on an issue many women believe in but are afraid to publicly talk about – that women who are unable to have children or do not want to have children are not less of a human being.
Her new novel, “Stay With Me,” talks about the impact of infertility on a married couple and also Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria.In a chat with the Guardian UK, Ayòbámi speaks on child-free marriage, how sickle cell disease affects life in Nigeria and other things.
SEE ALSO: Is It Unnatural To Accept Childlessness?
On the theme of her new book, she said
There is a strong view in Nigeria, as in many other cultures, that a marriage is not complete without children. I don’t agree; I’m wary of the idea that people have to have some particular functionality in order to be full members of society. I think it’s a very dangerous idea. Humans are humans and they are worthy of respect. In the book, I wanted to ask whether it is possible in this cultural context for a couple to be happy with one another, without having children.
The mother-in-law character is convinced that her son can’t be happy unless he has a child. I am interested in the idea that people should be able to define their own happiness. It’s not just about fertility; we are often told that we need this or that to be happy. We need to be thin, rich or whatever. But maybe we should decide for ourselves what happiness looks like.
Ayobami Adebayo holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for Creative Writing. Ayobami has been the recipient of a number of fellowships and residencies.
Head over to The Guardian to read the rest of the interview
Stay With Me is published by Canongate and can be ordered at bookshop.theguardian.com