‘Dele Weds Destiny’: Evocative Tale of Enduring Friendship


This debut novel spotlights the tensions between mothers, daughters and female friends.

Dele Weds Destiny landed on bookshelves with a great splash. It’s not hard to see why the novel has been praised by the likes of Tayari Jones (author of An American Marriage) and chosen as a Good Morning America #BuzzPick!

‘Dele Weds Destiny’: Synopsis

Funmi, Enitan and Zainab first became friends during the turbulent 1980s in northern Nigeria. With vastly different personalities, their friendships as individuals — never mind as a threesome — seem unlikely.

However, university pressure, splintered family relationships and devastating losses during the student protests cement their closeness. So much so that when they’re all in the same room again after thirty years, their friendship is able to endure. In fact, it proves strong enough to support a new generation of young women in the form of Destiny and Remi.

Remi is Enitan’s daughter. Good-hearted and spirited, she is visiting her mother’s homeland for the first time when she finds herself at the centre of wedding drama. She brings a fresh set of eyes to the country Enitan left three decades ago, something which challenges Enitan and her friends, but also makes them proud.

Destiny, the anxious, withdrawn daughter of larger-than-life Funmi, is the bride. Her society wedding has brought the friends together and is the talk of the town. But with Destiny having doubts, will the wedding actually go ahead?

What Makes ‘Dele Weds Destiny’ a Good Read?

Dele Weds Destiny starts with a contemporary storyline which outlines the difficulties Funmi, Enitan and Zainab are facing, both in their family lives and within their friendship. This first section asks many tantalising questions of the three women’s past, which are then answered in the fast-paced, action-packed main body (which is set in the 1980s). It makes for a gripping read.

This novel is a great insight into modern Nigeria; those who are unfamiliar with the country see it through the eyes of Remi and benefit from the same explanations of custom given to her by other characters, as well as Remi’s own critical thinking.

At heart, Dele Weds Destiny is about strong female relationships between best friends, and mothers and daughters. As author Tomi Obaro points out, “The mothers love their daughters but don’t always understand them.” This tension is both relatable and engrossing.

There are trigger warnings for violent death, death of a child, racism and self-harm.

More About Author Tomi Obaro

Dele Weds Destiny is Tomi Obaro’s first novel. Her professional experience is in the journalism field. She’s currently the culture desk lead editor at BuzzFeed News.

“I think reading fiction and nonfiction can be equally compelling but writing fiction is so much more rewarding than writing nonfiction,” Obaro told Penguin Random House. “It’s just so freeing. You get to live in your imagination and you have complete autonomy.”

Dele Weds Destiny is published by Hodder Studio, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton. It retails for R363 at Exclusive Books.

Jenna Solomon

Jenna is a journalism, African studies and social development graduate. She writes about active citizenship and lifestyle in South Africa.

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