…as four writers kick off Imodoye Writers Residency
…has huge interest in literary advancement in society
By Ozoro Opute
FOUR writers have kicked off the maiden edition of Imodoye Writers Residency, organized by Imodoye Writers Enclave, in Ilorin, Kwara State. The four writers are Haneefah Abdulrahman (Kaduna State), Michael Chukwudi (Ebonyi State) Muhammad Suraj Attahiru (Niger State) and Fagbola Olalere (Osun State). The writers are expected to be in Imodoye for a period of three weeks in order to continue and complete their manuscripts.
Abdulrahman is a student of English Literature at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a poet, writer, spoken word artiste, podcaster, columnist, and a Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency in 2021. She’s the author of a collection of short stories, Shades of Becoming. A residence of Kaduna, Abdulrahman is of Kogi State parentage. At Imodoye, she will work on her second short stories collection titled Mystery Bond.
Chukwudi, a Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency, is a poet and novelist. He bagged a First Class degree in Applied Biology from Ebonyi State University. He won Zest Africa Poetry Prize in 2021 and was first runner up for BKPW 2021 Poetry Prize. He’s the author of Undeserved, Wind of Life and an award-winning manuscript, The Road to Discovery. Chukwudi is in Imodoye to complete the work on his award-winning manuscript.
Attahiru (Atta Dhe Titan) is a performance poet based in Abuja. He’s a student of Library and Information Science at Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State. He’s an early child education and gender equality activist. Attahiru has performed in platforms like PIN, ALS, AWF, Adams Page, Wake Up Africa Initiative, etc. He’s in Imodoye to complete his poetry and collection of short stories.
Fagbola, poet, novelist, reviewer and biographer, is a veteran and award-winning journalist. He’s a graduate of London School of Journalism, London. Olalere previously worked with Punch and had also worked in states like Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Kwara States. He’s in Imodoye to complete his collections of essays on management of conflicts, multidimensional mental issues, radical journalism and irrational youth exuberance.
Imodoye Writers Residency was established by Dr. Shehu Usman Akanbi to provide emerging writers with friendly environment who are passionate about completing their ongoing works at no cost. And the residents are also expected to mentor young secondary school students in Ilorin and its environ in the art of literature and creative writing.
Akanbi addressed the issue of sustainability for the newly established writers’ residency, saying it would also assist fellows in pursuing the publication of their works, among other incentives.
“Imodoye Writers Residency is the brain work of literary enthusiasts with huge interest in literary advancement and development within the society. It is, however, important to note that such idea cannot be achieved by self-sponsorship alone, but through partnership with international, national and local organizations,” he said. “Yes, we do. There is need to promote all residents. It has always been a conducive avenue to host resident’s related events. The plan is to expand and collaborate with support from partners and philanthropists.”
Its first residents are a mix of the sexes, a situation Akanbi said addresses inclusiveness, noting, “We are conscious of the need to be gender-sensitive. So, the enclave is well intended for both sexes and the diverse areas are being considered. Exposure, new ideas, adventure and provision of local content.”
Akanbi also linked the poor financial position of writers accounts for the low perception literature in the country, noting also that availability of funds would determine the intervals writers would be invited to the residency.
“Of course, it could be. With every passion for art, money in the bank makes it better,” he said. “Imodoye needs external support from everywhere possible. Well, it all depends on availability of funds, but at least we will have one session yearly. There be time for the residents to convene for craft discussion among themselves. This is set for the last week of the residency programme. For a writer to qualify for the resident, he has to respond to a call for application that will be advertised for suitable residents yearly. About 17 participants for this maiden edition responded to this year’s call for application. Though we intended to have just two writers, but after some consideration, four residents were considered.”
Akanbi acknowledged the foundational inspiration role of Dr. Wale Okediran’s Ebedi Writers Residency played in his vision of creating Imodoye Writers Residency, and also appreciated Okediran for providing support for his new outfit.
“Honestly, we are drawing our inspiration from Ebedi Writers Residency which was founded by Dr. Wale Okediran, a former President of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and currently Secretary General of Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA),” he said. “He has been of tremendous support. His initiated Ebedi Residency has grown to International status.
“As an aside, Imodoye Writers Enclave that houses the residency programme also organizes a monthly hangout for writers based in Kwara State. Periodically, we also organize writing clinics for budding/emerging writers, particularly for teenagers who have inclination towards the creative arts.”