Today at the Ake Arts And Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria, Writivism Board member EC Osondu and Francophone programme partner Mamadou Diallo announced the following as the participants in the 2016 workshops in Accra, Kampala, Abidjan, Dakar and Goma after readings by Pemi Aguda, Jane Kalu and Adeola Opeyemi:
Mohamadou Fadel Diop is a 23 years old student of political science at the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis. He enjoys talking about literature, music and football especially Manchester United. And when he’s not talking about all this, he writes small stories or news that he shares with anyone who wants it.
Mamadou Lamine Diop Dame, born January 11, 1992 in Rufisque (Senegal) is a former resident of the military academy of Saint-Louis. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in 2010, joined the Naval Academy in Livorno, Italy, where he obtained a Masters in maritime and naval sciences. He is an officer in the Senegalese Navy and is passionate about writing and reading because they allow him to create and enter new worlds.
Tossa Senerap is a young rapper born in Guédiawaye, Senegal. Passionate about Hip Hop music from an early age, she began to soak up this musical style and culture. She likes to listen to both international pop music and poetry of West African women called “Taassu”. She writes her lyrics with a unique style of hip-hop and a special set of influences: Southern hip-hop, underground French and Senegalese mbalax pop. She is also very interested in the issues that affect women. She addresses these issues through her lyrics.
Mohamed Diaby founded Ivory Coast based venture-building company Waleya in 2009 to communicate innovative ideas through products, brands and useful technologies. His work has given tools to companies to expand their business in Africa and deal with cross cultural marketing challenges, digital presence and revenue creation. Mohamed is also a motivational speaker, geek and blogger, Internet activist and short story writer. His social media activity is a fun daily frenglish dose of inspiration, curated tech innovation and marketing news.
Koné Raissa was born in April 11, 1982 and is a graduate in Communication. She has a genuine passion for reading, writing and cinema and is in the process of finalizing a manuscript and is a person of good humor, dynamic and courageous.
Frances Ogamba graduated from the foreign languages department and studied literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She is Nigerian, and speaks English and French. She works with a shipping agency in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Attillah Springer is a writer born in Trinidad and Tobago. She writes about culture and memory and has been researching and writing about spiritual connections between the Caribbean and Africa. She is also interested in carnival traditions, specifically jouvay- the pre-dawn celebration of people-centred liberation – as a basis for a Caribbean creative and political practice. She is a director of Idakeda Group, a collective of women in her family creating cultural interventions for socially vulnerable communities.
Awah Leonide Azah is a trained Advocate from the Republic of Cameroon. She holds a BA in Law from the University of Buea and an LLM in law from the University of Yaounde II. She is currently engaged in Research around issues to do with Peace, Security and development at the African Leadership Centre. She is also an Associate fellow of the Royal Common Wealth society.
Billie Adwoa McTernan is a writer and editor. She covers the arts, cultural and political affairs across Africa, with a particular focus on Ghana, Nigeria and West Africa. Having begun her writing career as a journalist she has covered a wide range of subjects, from art festivals in Accra and Dakar to elections and presidential interviews in Nigeria and Liberia. In this capacity she has contributed to a number of publications including The Africa Report, The Guardian UK, Associated Press and Africa is a Country. As a fiction writer she writes short stories and is currently working on her first short film.
Man with a beautiful mind: Charles King is a journalism lecturer in Cape Town where, amongst others, he teaches how to report climate change and homophobia. He knows the world’s not perfect, but that it can be improved. He aims to do his bit with words (of, Achebe’s, ‘meaningful optimism’).
Eboka Chukwudi Peter is from Delta state Nigeria and was educated in Benin City and the United Kingdom. When he is not perpetuating the trope of the tragic undiscovered writer and haunting other peoples book readings, he finds solace in his other passions as an aquarist, IT enthusiast and assets trader from at least one of which he hopes to be able to afford the destitution out of which he believes great art thrives. He lives in Lagos where he is currently starting up a start-up and working on a collection of short stories and a memoir.
Kwabena Agyare Yeboah lives in Accra where he writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose. In 2015, Ofi Press nominated his poem ”Moonlight” for the Pushcart Prize.
Jennifer Chinenye Emelife is a graduate of Literature-in-English. Teaching Literacy in a private school in Lagos, she sometimes pretends to be a writer. She is also lead correspondent at Praxis Magazine for Arts and Literature. Her works have featured in online publications as A Basket of Tales; a collection of short stories by Association of Nigerian Authors (Benue State), Write Paragraphs and a few others. She loves the beach and is deeply inspired by Maya Angelou.
Karen Mukwasi is the projects coordinator for Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and is currently studying with the University of South Africa. She is a fellow of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Young Leaders program. Karen believes in the power of written work and is committed to writing for social justice. Her short story “Before Dawn” was published by ICAPA publishing as part of the Breaking The silence Anthology “A Family Portrait”. Her work has also been published by “Her Zimbabwe” a web based platform that promotes the voices of Zimbabwean women. She is a feminist and a women’s rights activist and has worked with the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe and other Women’s Rights organisations.
Hassan Gary Musa was born on 25, September, 1970. Primary school education claimed him very early. So was his secondary school education. He was done with those when he was sixteen years and nine months. He studied Medical Laboratory Science afterwards, got a job and then went on to Concepts College London and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for a couple of Postgraduate Diplomas. He now does a lot of community work in the area of development, HIV and Hepatitis. He lives on books and writing has always been what God made him for only that career choice from poor counselling has delayed him from being a great writer.
Sandra Afriyie Nartey’s career started off in 2008 as a Production Assistant (Intern), and later as Reporter and Head of International Desk at Metro Tv. In 2012, she joined the Organization for African Development as Online Content Manager. Sandra is currently the Public Relations/Community Development Officer at Ga West Municipal Assembly under the Ministry Of Local Government, Ghana. She volunteers as Interim Board Chair of VisionTech Foundation Ghana, a subsidiary of World Vision Ghana. She holds a BFA in Theatre Arts and Music with a bias towards Media and Society from the University of Ghana and a Certificate in Advanced Communication from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Aisha Nelson dreams, writes, thinks and lives in Accra, Ghana, where she is also a tutor of English Language and Literature. Her poems were shortlisted by Poetry Foundation Ghana and Erbacce Press in 2012 and 2014, respectively; Stag-nation was the winning entry in Akwantuo Writing’s inaugural Harmattan Poetry Contest. Other works have featured in weeklies, literary and academic events, radio and other outlets including Accra Theatre Workshop, OneGhanaOneVoice, Kalahari Review, Saraba, Munyori Journal, Phillis Wheatley Chapter, Prairie Schooner and recently, Caine Prize’s 2015 Short Story Anthology. Aisha’s blog, Nu kɛ Hulu (Water and Sun), is at aishawrites.wordpress.com.
Ndi charles is a reader and writer. He is currently working on his first book, Perks of Eagles. He is also a blogger via youthfulnaija.wordpress.com.
Vivian Ogbonna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language from the University of Nigeria. She was a Goldman Sachs Scholar at the Enterprises Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. She is also an alumnus of the Cherie Blair Mentoring Women in Business Program. Vivian is an Interior Decorator by profession but in February 2014 the Muse found her and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She was a participant in the 2015 Writivism Creative Writing Workshop, in Lagos, Nigeria, and her short story A BALL OF THREAD was long-listed for the Writivism Short Story Competition. She has been published by The New Black Magazine, Premium Times Blogs and My Mind Snaps/Blog.
Wanjiku Mungai is a recent college graduate with a love for stories and beautiful things. While she has been in writing workshops before, this will be the first time she will be working in a community of writers from Africa and of African descent, an opportunity she is very excited for.
Winnie Ivy Cherop Kirui is a 25 year old freelance researcher and writer, from Eldoret (Kenya). She studied International Relations and graduated from USIU-Africa (Nairobi). A year later, she relocated to Syracuse, (New York) to pursue a masters degree in Pan-African Studies (incomplete). She is currently taking French classes at Alliance Francais, Nairobi (Kenya).
Sue ANIQUE is an international singer/songwriter and poet based in Kampala, Uganda. ANIQUE’s music is like “Luwombo” — a sumptuous, organic meal, cooked slowly in a traditional banana-leaf-pressure-cooker. Just like grand mamma’s chicken soup, her performance-based writing is healing and wholesome; emotion-filled with a timeless quality. Currently recording her first studio album, ANIQUE’s project involves research into traditional African music— experimenting with fusing African rhythms, stories and ideas into standard jazz/blues sounds to give a truly Ugandan flavor. ANIQUE is passionately committed to absolute excellence in all she does. She is an extremely expressive performer who captivates her audiences with charged and emotive live performances.
Dennis Omolo is a 27-year- old teacher of English and Literature at Achego Girls’ School, Kenya. At the school, he also doubles up as the patron of the Achego Girls’ Journalism Club, one of the most resilient high school journalism clubs in East Africa. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics and Literature from Kenyatta University. An alumnus of Starehe Boys’ Centre in Nairobi, he started writing poetry in Form 3. His poems have been performed at the Kenya Music Festival in 2014 and 2015. He is currently working on anthology of poems by his students at Achego School.
Femi Morgan is the co-curator of Artmosphere, a leading Arts and Culture event in Nigeria and a co-publisher at WriteHouse Collective. He is a co-recipient of the 234Next Fashion Copy Prize and was longlisted for the BN Poetry Prize in 2015.
Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa loves art and its aesthetics. He is keen on poetry, prose and and drama. He started publicly writing in 2000 at Makerere College School, winning three National Book Trust of Uganda Awards (NABOTU) at national level in 1999, 2000 and 2001 for works in poetry. He attended the British Council Lancaster University Crossing Borders program in 2006-2007, participated in an online writing cultural exchange called Kampala Writes Bremen and the Writivism Festival in Kampala In 2015. He is part of the Lantern Meet of Poets, a poetry community in Kampala and writes his thoughts on nevender.wordpress.com.
The favourite son of Africa is an editor, literary critic and poet from Ibadan, Nigeria. A member of WriterHouse Collective, Yope assesses manuscripts for publication and is one of the organisers of Artmosphere, a monthly leading literary event in Ibadan. Also, he is the administrator of the Kofi Awoonor Memorial library in Ibidan. He also enjoys travelling and cooking.
Peter Nwabunwanne Akparanta is a Nigerian. He is the Editor of Nigeria Yellow Pages, and Christian HERALD, a Christian magazine. He is also an Ethics, Values and Social Justice Crusader. He has unpublished non-fictional writings and poems. His passion is to see a new Nigeria emerge where only RIGHT is MIGHT.
Oroni Tendera is a day-dreamer, aspiring polyglot, self-proclaimed priest of introverts and voracious consumer of literature. He enjoys having loud conversations with himself when nobody is watching, walking alone in the countryside and writing anything that pops in his untamed mind. Oroni has been published in The Kalahari Review, The Daily Nation, The Standard Newspaper, Taifa Leo (a Kiswahili daily newspaper) among others. Currently, he is redrafting his novella-length manuscript, three unpublished Children’s storybooks and a collection of poems.
Oprah Oyugi is a Creative Writing graduate from Whitireia Polytechnic, NZ. She is working on growing and developing her career as a writer and filmmaker in Kenya. Her aim is to share authentic Kenyan and African stories to the world.
Zahara Tunda is 21 years old and currently studying at the University Dar es salaam’s school of Journalism and mass communication. She loves writing stories and poems because they help her express my emotional feelings, thoughts and life experiences. She has had this interest since primary school. Though at that time she mostly participated in reading competitions. Her dream is to become great story writer, mostly poems and stories. In addition to that she loves radio and TV broadcasting. That’s mainly why she is studying mass communication degree program.
Margaret Muthee is a trained journalist and Freelance writer living in Nairobi, Kenya. She is keen on developing her creative writing skills, and has published poetry in Fresh Paint: Literary Vignettes by Kenyan Women and the Boda Boda Anthem Anthology. Her first short story Escape, was written during the 2015 Writivism Programme with the mentorship of Richard Ali of Nigeria, and is published in http://www.onethrone.com/. Margaret Muthee has worked with Kwani Trust, managing workshops and assisting in events organizing. She attends various literary events in Nairobi, and hopes to write better and publish more in future.
Precious Maliwa was born on the 9th of June 1990. She is a Christian, born and raised in a Christian home with deep Christian values. She is a journalist by profession, working for one of the church owned media houses located in Blantyre, the biggest commercial city of Malawi. She is in the middle stage of a degree Course in journalism. Travelling and writing are some of the things she enjoys doing.
Keziah Elaine Ayikoru is a poet, singer, fashion designer and graduate architect with her Bachelor’s degree from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam. She is an organising member of La Poetista, a poetry group in Tanzania and also founded Noisy Pens (2010-2013) which encouraged poetry through meetings and recitals. Keziah has performed her poetry at various platforms in Tanzania and ‘Poetry in Session’ in Uganda. She is the founder of ‘KEA Apparel’ a clothing brand started in January 2015. Currently she works at Architectural Pioneering Consultants in Dar es Salaam and Anza, an East African architectural magazine as a sub-editor.
Mr. Naamala Brighton Samson, 28 years, is the Programme Officer-Innovations at Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) and co-founder of La Poetista poetry community. Having a Bachelor of Arts in Fine and Performing Arts (B.A.FPA) from University of Dar Es Salaam, he has been engaged in different programmes including civic awareness and youth participation, social entrepreneurship initiatives, gender mainstreaming education, leadership capacity building, community mobilization, ICT for social change and many others. By being a multi-talented, energetic and creative young person, his vision is to see a developed society where youth are the agents of change in all sectors.
Ibrahima Balde, from Kolda, Senegal, obtained his secondary school degree in 2012 and is currently studying Applied Foreign Languages at the Université Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis.
As a young boy, poverty and a lack of recreation in Matthi Kayaya‘s environment pushed him to seek refuge in the art of storytelling. A political scientist, Matthi has worked in humanitarian affairs, and is also a member of “Sembura,” a platform that gathers writers from the Great Lakes Region, the Italian association “Poesia e solidarietà,” and l’Union des écrivains du Congo (the Writers’ Union of Congo). Matthi has published several literary works, including short stories, poems, and a novel in search of a publishing house.
Guy Muyembe is the young writer of several unpublished works. One of his short stories has appeared in an anthology titled “Chronique du Katanga (Chronicle of Katanga)” Sepia Pubilshing, Paris, France. Guy also shares his writing on a blog.
Merdi Muintshe lives in Kinshasa, where he studies law at the Université Catholique du Congo. His taste for literature was first nurtured when he started reading plays. He joined the Tarmac des Auteurs, a theatre where he has met and worked with playwrights such as Hakim Bah, Fiston Mwanza, Wakeu Fogain, Aristide Tarnagda, Denis Mpunga, David-Minor Ilunga. In addition to playwriting, Muintshe also writes short stories.
Computer scientist by training, Diane Bajika was born in 1984 in Brussels. Writing and the urban arts are two of her biggest passions. Her main sources of inspiration? Life, the great outdoors, music, and Kinshasa–a bustling city for which she has a soft spot. Curious about nature, the world, and other people, she loves to write stories that truly resonate and open new windows on the horizon.
Kahindo Lukando Annie
Ninsiima Eileen Lynette, born in Mbarara from a humble family is a Mukyiga living in Kampala. She is a third year student completing a Bachelors degree in Business Statistics. Her love for creative writing and poetry began way back in high school where she used to write 96-paged novels that were borrowed out by her classmates for reading. This love later developed as love for poetry. She loves to write about adventure, societal happenings and culture among other things. She hopes to develop her skill in writing and inspire, educate and entertain fellow Africans and the world at large.
The workshops will be facilitated by Yewande Omotoso, Sitawa Namwalie, Mamadou Diallo, Edwige Dro and Richard Ali-Mutu.
Congratulations to the emerging writers selected.