Selected Mentees for the 2017 Creative Writing Program

We are excited to announce the 29 successful emerging writers who will benefit from our 2017 mentoring programme. They were selected from a pool of almost 250 applications from all over the continent. They will have the fabulous opportunity of developing their story proposals to enter for the Writivism Short Story and Koffi Addo Prizes.

Our 18 mentors: Jennifer Makumbi, Melissa Kiguwa, Karen Jennings, Pierre Cherruau, Okey Ndibe, Dami Ajayi, Lidudumalingani, Emmanuel Iduma, Yewande Omotoso, Pemi Aguda, Marcus Boni Teiga, Adeola Opeyemi, Chuma Nwokolo, Rahla Xenopoulos, Tendai Mwanaka, Ukamaka Olisakwe, Tiah Beautement and Richard Ali A Mutu – a multi-talented pool of published and award-winning writers from the continent and diaspora – have already started working with each writer to shape and sharpen their fiction and creative nonfiction.

All stories written through the mentorship shall be published in an online mini-anthology (in the tradition of My Maths Teacher Hates Me and Your Heart Will Skip a Beat) at a future date, following the announcement of the winner of the 2017 Writivism Short Story and Koffi Addo Prizes.

Without further ado, below are the successful writers from 10 African countries:

From Egypt we have:

Heba Hesham recently graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she got full funding to do her MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, with a concentration in livelihood issues facing women in precarious work forms. She is the co-founder of “Heya” (She), Egypt’s first women’s rights student organisation to focus on mobilising students towards finding solutions to the gendered angle of social issues. Heya is endorsed by UN Women to promote civic engagement and raise awareness about women’s issues through art, theatre and literature. She now works as a researcher on issues of knowledge access in Africa and the Middle East.

From Rwanda we have:

Tresor Mukunzi Lamcy est un jeune aspirant romancier Rwandais de 28 ans, ingénieur mécanique de formation, il découvre la littérature en 2004 par le biais du centre d’échange culturel Franco-Rwandais. Il prend alors plaisir à écrire des poèmes comme passe-temps favori. Depuis 2004 il vient d’écrire dix histoires (roman, nouvelle, scenario) inédits.


From Zambia, we have:

Mwenya Mwamba is an Actuarial Science Student, Writer, and Youth Ambassador. She lives in Lusaka, Zambia.


Kafula Mwila born on September 2, 1969, she has grown up in Zambia for the most part. She started her writing career in 2009 when she self-published a novel. From then she went on to self-publish yet another novel 2012. She has taken part in writers’ residencies in Uganda (2012) organized by Femrite and in Zambia (2016) organized by the Caine Prize. Her publications include short stories and poems online and other fora for writers.

Kafula Mwila

From Botswana we have:

Caiphus Mmino Mangenela is a Safety Officer by day and writer by night. He is a proud Motswana and Honourary Kenyan having lived there from 2009 to 2011 as a volunteer missionary where he learnt Kiswahili and Sheng. Caiphus is an avid reader of African literature and writes some of his own stories. In 2016, he won the Botswana based Bessie Head Literature Award for his short story “A Mother Amongst the Stars”. He currently resided in Gaborone, Botswana


Gaamangwe Joy Mogami is a writer and filmmaker from Botswana. She is a Psychology graduate from the University of Botswana. Her poetry has been published in Kalahari Review, African Writer, Afridiaspora, Poetry Potion, Expound Magazine, and forthcoming in Brittle Paper. She is the founder, interviewer and editor of Africa in Dialogue. She currently resides in Gaborone, Botswana.

Gaamangwe Joy

From Cameroon we have:

Raoul Djimeli vit et écrit à Yaoundé, au Cameroun. Il a participé à des projets littéraires nationaux et internationaux, a publié des poèmes et des nouvelles dans des anthologies et dans les revues. Il s’intéresse aux civilisations africaines préhistoriques et écrit sur le monde postmoderne et sur le rapport de l’homme à son environnement.  Raoul Djimeli est par ailleurs Animateur Culturel d’associations littéraires, et Rédacteur en chef du Clijec Magazine.

Johanne Ewoudou Je suis Camerounaise. J’ai 16 ans et Je suis en classe de Terminale A4 au collège Libermann de Douala.

From Malawi, we have:

Beaton Galafa is a Malawian writer of poetry, fiction and nonfiction resident in Malawi. He is a high school languages teacher, and studying for a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics at Chancellor College. In 2014, he participated in the Commonwealth Creative Nonfiction Writers Workshop for East African emerging writers that took place in Uganda. In the same year, his short story Bullet in the wind made it into the Top 10 of the Dede Kamkondo Short Story Writing Competition. In 2016, he won the Free Expression Institute-Malawi Essay Writing Competition on trans-generational leadership in Malawian politics.


Peter-Paul Ndyani was born in 1982 in the Republic of Malawi, lived in Germany for a few years with his family before returning to Malawi. He possesses a law degree from the University of Malawi and is currently employed as a Senior State Advocate in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Lilongwe, the Capital city of Malawi.

Peter-Paul Ndyani

From South Africa, we have:

Maqhawe Xaba is an aspiring writer and avid reader. He is a South African citizen and currently lives in Umlazi, a township south of Durban. He has a B.A. Degree in Film & Television Studies and Media & Writing from the University of Cape Town and is currently pursuing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education through the University of South Africa so that he can teach English and History in township high schools.


Keletso Mopai is a twenty-five year old new South African writer whose stories have appeared on blogs and literacy magazines. Her short stories ‘Professor Banda’, ‘Jane’ and ‘Samara’ were published on Brittle Paper, African Pen, and Tuck Magazine respectively. She has also written a fictional blog titled ‘Birds of a feather’ which received positive response. Keletso majored in Geology and Chemistry for her Bachelor of Science degree and has an honors degree in Geology.


Jarred Thompson is an English graduate from Alabama State University. He is a South African from Johannesburg South Africa where he currently resides. He has had poems published in The Dark River Review and the Kalahari Review. His short story, When the Chickens Come Home to Roost” has been published by The Rainy Day Literary Journal. He is a freelance writer, blogger and is currently at work on his first one man play.

Jarred Thompson

Haroon Wadee is South African born and raised and considers Africa his home. His undergraduate (sociology, history and English) and post–‐graduate (sociology, policy, economics) studies and career have been rooted in the social sciences with a strong focus on equity and social justice in the area of social policy, namely health policy. He has worked in academic, corporate and the non–‐profit sector since 1998, and currently completing doctoral work on street–‐level substance abuse in Durban.


From Kenya we have:

Stephanie Wanga is a law student from and studying in Nairobi, Kenya. She is excited by libraries, bright colours, cold mornings, evenings in warmly lit restaurants, rhumba, ohangla and cheese. She wants to collect music and books and little pieces of African art and woolly sweaters. After law school she hopes to, one way or another, make the transition into a consciously living, loving, writer and teacher of literature.


Muthoki Mumo is a journalist living in Nairobi, Kenya. For five years she has written on a range of subjects for the Nation Media Group’s newspapers. Her less journalistic work is archived in her blog, She also has academic interests having recently completed a research project on Kenyan nationalism and the International Criminal Court.


Abu Amirah is a Kenyan born emerging writer living and writing in the Coastal town of Mombasa. He writes because it’s a God-Given talent and because he is bound by the commitment, passion and love exemplified by other writers in the African writing fraternity who are dedicated to telling the African story. Mombasa is his inspiration. There are too many stories lying around and it would be a gross injustice if he does not tell them to the world.


Poppy Muindi is a young writer living and working in Nairobi. Her interest in writing was peaked early in life when, without the distraction of a TV, she would find refuge under the cool shade of a mango tree and read Okot P. Bitek’s Song of Lawino, Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine, and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart among others. Inspired by these great African writers, she knew she wanted to be a writer. She graduated with a BA in Communication from Daystar University and has written lifestyle features for leading Kenyan magazines including True Love, Drum, Couture Africa, East Africa Destination, and Healthy Woman. She is currently working on her debut poetry and short story anthologies.


From Uganda, we have:

Doreen Anyango is a Ugandan writer, scriptwriter and biotechnologist. Her short fiction has appeared in several on-line journals such as Wordrite, Lawino and the Kalahari review. She has also been published in print in the FEMRITE anthology titled Nothing to see here. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and her first novel. Doreen was longlisted for the Writivism short story prize 2016 and won SSWCIII 2016.


Precious Colette Kemigisha is a Ugandan currently living in Kampala. She is a lifelong student of Literature and believes that her writerly journey begun when she was a six-year-old writing childish poems to the boy next door! Currently she is working with Uganda Faith Writer’s Association, under their publishing arm called Quiet Garden, as a writer’s trainer and has just started an online magazine called WANDIIKA to showcase the student’s writing. Her dream is to continue to write fantastical African stories while sipping red wine in the house she’s yet to build on a luscious farm in Western Uganda.


Joel Benjamin Ntwatwa loves the arts. He is a Ugandan writer, poet, blogger, books and arts reviewer, and a digital content manager. He lives in Uganda and blogs at, reviews at and has trained with British Council, Writivism, Success Spark Brand, FEMRITE, Babishai Niwe, Lantern Meet of Poetry, and Kampala Writes Bremen.


Linda Nabasa is a Ugandan performing artist, short story writer and playwright currently staying in Uganda. She is also a creative consultant and writer of human rights stories for children Initiative by European Union Uganda. She is passionate about writing from page to stage to give women and children a holistic voice in theatre. She is co- director of Afroman Spice, a theatre company in Kampala that uses theatre to enlighten on women’s position and issues in society. She was long listed for Erbracce press, poetry award, short listed for the creative writer’s ink and long listed for the 2013 Writivism Writing Competition.

Linda Nabasa

And finally, from Nigeria, we have:

Immaculata Abba is a writer, photographer from Nigeria studying History and Comparative Literature in London, UK. She believes that the saying “We are all in this together” is a myth and so is constantly trying to see what different spaces we occupy in society and how our different journeys are written on our bodies, beliefs and ways of life. As a celebrator of diversity (not for its sake but for the sake of truth), she is passionate about new and alternative ways of seeing the world, ourselves and those we ‘other’. She lives this passion out through her studies, photography and writings that have been published in Brittle Paper, Arts & Africa and Clapback Zine. She was selected for the Royal African Society’s  2016 Youth Editorial Programme and is currently a photography, food and travel blogger at My Weku Tastes (

Immaculate Abba.jpg

Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor’s No Tokens story, “Some Days”, has been nominated for The 2017 Pushcart Prize. His story, “Leaving”, longlisted for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction, is forthcoming in an anthology, Migrations: New Short Stories from Africa. His Warscapes story, “Colour Lessons”, featured in Columbia Journal and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, has been shortlisted for the Problem House Press Short Story Prize (2016). His Open Road Review story, “Spirit”, featured in Litro Magazine and Juked, has been shortlisted for the 2016 Southern Pacific Review Short Story Prize.


Eloghosa Osunde is a Nigerian writer and photographer whose work is rooted in the exploration of grief, trauma, loss and love in human relationships. Her most recent work focusses on intergenerational trauma, inherited ‘madness’ and the effect of blood and genealogy on our individual identities. Eloghosa is an alumna of the 2015 Farafina Creative Writing workshop. Following the workshop, her selection of vignettes ‘Shapes’ was selected and edited by Chimamanda Adichie for her Literary Supplement. She is currently working on her debut novel.


Nwamaka Osakwe is a resident doctor, practicing in her home country Nigeria, who carves out time to read and write because she loves stories. She hopes her kids will also be fascinated by stories because she thinks stories are important. Her work can be found in Per Contra, Flash: The International short-short story magazine, Adanna literary journal, Flash fiction press, Naija Stories and others.


John ‘Lighthouse’ Oyewale is Nigerian. His works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in What’s On Africa, Short Story Day Africa, Sankofa, Itch, and This Is Africa, among others. In 2016, his story, Campus Solitaire, appeared in the anthology Enter Naija: The Book of Places, published by Brittle Paper. He has participated in creative writing workshops run by the British Council, Ake Arts and Books Festival, and Goethe-Institut. He lives in Ota, Nigeria.


Ifeanyi Abiodun Ibegbu is a Nigerian writer who finds both courage and solace in stringing words together, and hopes that this will one day help her make sense of life. Next to writing, she enjoys reading, thinking, and talking. Ifeanyi also loves art, sugar and sleep, and when she remembers to, blogs at She currently lives in Nigeria.


Ekweremadu Uchenna is a Kaduna-based Nigerian writer. Apart from prose, he also experiments with poetry and playwriting. He was Longlisted for the Erbacce Prize For Poetry 2015; he was the First Runner-up for PEN Nigeria/Saraba Magazine Poetry Prize 2011, and made it to the Book of Winners, Castello di Duino International Poetry Competition 2010. His works have appeared in Coe Review, The Write Room, Saraba Magazine, Wilderness House Literary, A&U American AIDS Magazine, Kalahari Review and elsewhere. He is the Subeditor of Wawa Book Review.

Ekweremadu Uchenna

We would have loved to recruit everyone who applied to the programme, but were unfortunately limited by the number of mentors available. We however look forward to receiving the stories whose proposals we were lucky to read. The deadline for the Writivism Short Story and Koffi Addo Prizes is March 31, 2017.


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