Our relationship with Ghana is a special, almost sacred one. In 2016, we held our only creative nonfiction writing workshop to date at Alliance Francais, facilitated by the writer Yewande Omotoso, with the support of the brilliant Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah and her company, MAKEDA. At the celebration of the year’s International Women’s Day, we joined the African Women Development Fund and announced the Koffi Addo Prize for creative nonfiction. The prize was open to only Ghanaians for the inaugural year.
Judged by NoViolet Bulawayo (chair), Yewande Omotoso and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, the prize introduced us to an array of Ghanaian talent. Yvette Tetteh won the prize with her story, “Lost Futures or A Guide to Losing Love”, announced at the Storymoja Ghana festival. The story was published in the 2016 annual anthology, Sundown and other stories (Black Letter Media, 2017), and in our mentoring anthology, Daughters who Become Lovers (Afridiaspora, 2017) anthology.
The Koffi Addo Prize was eventually opened up to the entire continent in 2017, although it is still funded by the Koffi Addo family, through MAKEDA. We are in Accra this week to celebrate how far this prize has come, the status of creative nonfiction writing on the continent and the impact of social media on literary culture, at the Pa Gya! Literary festival 2018.
Together with Nana Darkoa, with whom we created this prize, and who continues to fund and champion it, Yvette Tetteh, the winner of the inaugural prize and who has just returned from a month long writing residency at Stellenbosch University, Ope Adedeji who was shortlisted for the 2018 prize for her brilliant story ‘Women who Bleed Colors’ and Akotowaa Ofori who has been long listed for both the Koffi Addo nonfiction and the Writivism short story prizes in 2017 and 2018 respectively; we invite you to join Esther Mirembe, our managing editor on Sunday 21 October at 4:20 pm for yet another literary rendezvous with Ghana.
We will also screen our 2017 documentary ‘The Real Writers’ featuring Ugandan writers Stella Nyanzi, Ernest Bazanye, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Acan Innocent Immaculate and Nyana Kakoma on Sunday 21 October at 5:30 pm.
Our friends who live in Ghana: join us at the Goethe-Institut, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra.
Among others, our friends Harruna Ayesha Attah (prize judge) Kinna Likimani (reader for our prizes), Dzekashu MacViban (festival speaker), Billy Kahora (festival speaker), Nii Ayikwei Parkes (festival speaker), Afrikult (festival partners) are on the PaGya! Speaker line-up.