Bom Boy

Bom Boy

Yewande Omotoso

Bom Boy is a well-crafted, and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.

PRINT VERSION Buy the print version (hard copy) from Modjaji Books directly      










Bom Boy

Leke is a troubled young man living in the suburbs of Cape Town. He develops strange habits of stalking people, stealing small objects and going from doctor to doctor in search of companionship rather than cure. Through a series of letters written to him by his Nigerian father whom he has never met, Leke learns about a family curse; a curse which his father had unsuccessfully tried to remove. Bom Boy is a well-crafted, and complex narrative written with a sensitive understanding of both the smallness and magnitude of a single life.

Yewande Omotoso

Omotoso was born in Barbados and raised in Nigeria. She has a Nigerian father, West Indian mother and two brothers. She is an architect; space and buildings being a passion of hers second to literature. She lives in Cape Town working as a designer, writer and novelist.

Yewande Omotoso's author page
Awards & Nominations
Winner: SALA prize for first-time published author
Shortlisted: Sunday Times Fiction Prize 2012
Shortlisted: M-Net Film Prize 2012
Shortlisted: Etisalat prize 2013

“This is a novel bursting with elegance, written by a young author brimming with genuine promise. Yewande Omotoso is a stylist with a literary vision.”
– Nuruddin Farah, author of Links, Knots & Crossbones

“Distinctive in its tranquil tenderness, this fantastic novel reads like a lullaby, continuing to bloom in the imagination long after it has been put down.”
– Londi Gamadeze

‘Bom Boy surprises and delights, sings at turns, as it straddles the past and the present, bringing into focus cultural beliefs while examining the intimacies and complexities of bonds of family and friendship. What strikes me most is the originality. This fine debut, firmly rooted in contemporary consciousness, is story-telling of note which whets the appetite for more.’
– Joanne Hichens, author of Divine Justice

“Yewande Omotoso writes this novel with perspicacity and panache. The prose is light and deft and delightful to read. Even when her distant and withdrawn protagonist Leke goes through a spell of marking time in the middle of the novel, the prose keeps one involved. I loved Omotoso’s flirtation with magic realism in some parts of the story and I look forward to more of this from her in the future. Her skill lies in the subtlety of her character creations. Omotoso is definitely an author to watch.”
– Janet van Eeden, Litnet

“An intricately woven tale that has been compiled in unique way. Wonderful and yet deeply disturbing, familiar and yet strange.” – Gail Baxter, Amazon Reviewer
“An unusual and laudable debut… Omotoso illustrates inimitably what is means to be alone, materially and in mind, and just how thin the fabric of society is.”
– Karin Schimke, Cape Times

“This Omotoso can write very well. I also love her plot.”
– James Murua

“This is the sort of book that you inhabit while you’re reading it and its pages feel like home. The plot is not complex in any way but the story Omotoso tells breathes with a life of its own. It’s books like these that remind you why human beings love stories.”
– Charles Siboto

“A melting pot of African people, beliefs and practices at its most thrilling. The characters are finely drawn… exotic creatures outside my knowledge of life, brought to life without reference to stereotypes.”
– Moira de Swardt, ArtLink

“A moving, intelligent debut… Bom Boy is bittersweet with a pleasant, hopeful aftertaste.”
– Karabo Ngoleng, City Press

“Delves into the complex inner life of a shy adopted black child who lives in Cape Town’s southern suburbs.”
– Sibusiso Nkomo, Cape Argus

“An unusual and touching novel… Omotoso gives considerable insight into what it is like to be a migrant from the northern part of Africa, dealing with loneliness, displacement and dislocation in a highly recognisable South Africa. It is original in style, with a serious purpose.”
– Jane Rosenthal, Mail & Guardian

– Siphiwo Mahala (Author of African Delights and When a Man Cries)

“In a sort of dream-like fashion you are swept along with Leke as he tries to find a grip on life, and perhaps even find himself. The characters are compelling – you want to try and understand why they do the things they do.”
– Jen Thorpe, editor of Feminism Is

Africa in Words named Yewande Omotos one of their 9 ‘Africa-published fiction writers you should know

Titles by this author