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Meet Yewande Omotoso, The Author Of ‘The Woman Next Door’

Yewande Omotoso is a South African-based novelist, architect and designer, who was born in Barbados and grew up in Nigeria. She is also a designer and an architect. She was born by a popularly known Nigerian writer, Kole Omotoso. And also, she is a sister to a renowned writer and filmmaker, Akin Omotoso. Due to her writing prowess, she won the South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author.

Early Life & Education

Yewande Omotoso was born into the family of Professor Kole Omotoso in Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados in North America. Her family returned to Nigeria shortly after her birth, where she grew up. In 1992, she returned to South Africa with her father. She attended the University of Cape Town and majored in architecture. Yewande continued her education at the same university, earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing.


Yewande Omotoso published her first novel, Bom Boy, in 2011. The novel received widespread acclaim and was eventually awarded the South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author in 2012. Bom Boy was also nominated for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the M-Net Literary Awards that year. The novel finished second in the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Yewande released her second novel, The Woman Next Door, in 2016. This work drew widespread notice and garnered favorable reviews from a variety of novel readers as well as organizations. In this work, Yewande Omotoso depicts the evolution of race relations since the 1950s as well as the immigrant experience through explicit facts and tiny psychological insights into conflicting sentiments, the artist’s eye, and the widow’s sadness.

Her voice is fresh, capable of recalling the violence of South Africa’s past as well as the peacefulness of strolling up a kopje. This work was nominated for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2017 and the International Dublin Literary Award in 2018.

30 May 2022: The South African-Nigerian novelist Yewande Omotoso has penned her third novel called An Unusual Grief. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee

Personal Life

She is the last child and the only daughter of Professor Kole Omotoso. She is also a sister to popular filmmaker, Akin Omotoso.


  • Bom Boy
  • The Woman Next Door

Awards & Nominations

  • She won the South African Literary Award for First-Time Published Author.
  • She was shortlisted for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize.
  • Yewande Omotoso was nominated for the 2021 M-Net Literary Awards.
  • She was also nominated for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature.
  • She was among the longlisted 2017 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.
  • Yewande won the 2014 Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia.
  • She was also the 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow and the recipient of a Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014.

Net Worth

Based on our analysis, which is premised on her awards, architectural and writing career, Yewande Omotoso has an estimated net worth of $800,000.

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