Loved by many and widely recognised as a voice of his generation, 27-year-old Gboyega Odubanjo had received an Eric Gregory Award, New Poets’ Prize and the Michael Marks Award, and without doubt would have gone on to produce a lifetime of enduring work as one of poetry’s shining lights. An editor at Bad Betty Press and the poetry magazine Bath Magg, Gboyega gave support and mentorship to many developing artists; his contribution within the poetry community was invaluable, as was his friendship. Gboyega’s full-length debut collection of poetry, Adam, is forthcoming from Faber in Summer 2024.
The family and friends of Gboyega Odubanjo are asking for the help of his community through community fundraising, the purpose of it is to support in his final arrangements and continue on his legacy. We are launching the Gboyega Odubanjo Foundation for low-income Black writers, with funds from this appeal also going towards the foundation. Gboyega always wanted to uplift and support his community, through mentoring young people, through gently praising someone at a poetry night about their star quality and through teaching in numerous places. His poetry and writing has been a beacon of light to many.
We, the close friends and loved ones of Gboyega, express our profound sadness and grief at the loss of one of our brightest and most talented stars. Gboyega was the source of incredible joy and laughter for all of us, and we are utterly heartbroken to hear that his life has been so suddenly cut short. Over the past few days, we have been working tirelessly to ensure his name and image remained visible to members of the public across the UK. We would like to thank everyone who helped in the mission to bring Gboyega home safe; all those who shared the callout, sent in information, and went out searching. Your support has meant the world to us in this incredibly difficult time.
Gboyega was inimitable. He will be remembered as a brilliant poet, inspiring friend, son and brother. He was incredibly talented; someone we will remain in awe of. He was a friend to everyone and anyone, so often befriending complete strangers. We will cherish his loud laughter, his sharp intellect and his love, all which will continue to keep warm the hearts of his friends, family and poetry community.