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  Abimbola Gbemi Alao was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. She studied at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she gained a BA (Hon) Classics in 1988 and an MA Classics in 1991. She later studied PGCE and MA in creative writing at the University of Plymouth.
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Abimbola was a tutor at the Institute of Education, University of Plymouth, from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, she was appointed as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of St Mark & St John (MARJON), Plymouth, where she taught for 11 years. A recipient of Plymouth’s 2017 Mayflower Scholarship, she is currently researching the influence of the psychosocial intervention on disease progression in people living with dementia.

Writing and Career

Abimbola is the author of Dear Toriola, Let’s Talk About Perimenopause (2019), Trickster Tales for Telling (2016), How to Enhance Your Storytelling With Music (2016), The Legendary Weaver: New Edition, a young-adult fiction book (2003 and 2011), and The Goshen Principle: A Shelter in the Time of Storm (2010). She has also written numerous poems, short stories and plays. In 2008, her short play, ‘Legal Stuff’, won the BBC and Royal Court Theatre ’24 Degrees’ Writing Competition. In 2011–2012, she wrote a collection of fables for KidsOut World Stories; this project won the 2013 Talk Talk Digital Heroes award for the East of England. She is a children’s book translator and her work includes the translation of the classics: Hansel and Gretel, The Little Red Hen and the Grain of Wheat and several other books, published by Mantra Lingua publishers.
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Abimbola is a visiting lecturer and lead provider of ‘StoryWeavers for Dementia’, a Special Study Unit (SSU) in Medical Humanities, at the Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth. The program, developed by Abimbola, explores a non-pharmacological approach to dementia care. It is offered to people who live with various forms of dementia. In 2015, Abimbola collaborated with the Alzheimer’s Society to run a 12-week project with service users in memory cafes. This culminated in an anthology titled, ‘Narrative Adventures from Plymouth Memory Cafes’. In January 2014, Stoke Damerel College in Plymouth participated in StoryWeavers for Dementia; the school won the Prime Minister’s Dementia Friendly Award: Schools Category in May 2014.


She is a recipient of the following awards:
  • 2005, BBC ‘Breeze’ bursary award.
  • 2008, BBC/Royal Court Theatre ’24 Degrees’ Writing Competition.


Abimbola has also made the translations for the following books: 
  • Hansel and Gretel: “Hansel ati Gretel” Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.
  • The Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat: Adie Pupa Kekere ati Eso Alikama’ Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.
  • Floppy’s Friends: “Awon ore e Floppy” Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2004) Mantra Lingua.
  • Nita Goes to Hospital: ‘Nita lo si ile iwosan’ Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.
  • Grandma’s Saturday Soup: ‘Obe Ojo Abameta Mama Agba’ Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.
  • Welcome to the world baby: ‘Kaabo sinu aye Omo titun’ Dual Language Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.
  • My Talking Dictionary & Interactive CD ROM Yoruba & English – Yoruba translation by Abimbola Alao. (2005) Mantra Lingua.

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Abimbola also performs Storytelling, Radio Musicals and Poetry on stage and for live audiences. Her audience includes children, young adults and adults.

Reference Featured Image Source: Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez
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This article was first published on 9th July 2022 and updated on July 14th, 2022 at 3:49 pm


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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