FOUR female writers from Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria have arrived the Ebedi International Writers Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria, to kick start the 2023 writers residency programme. The writers are Justica Anima (Ghana), Fatima Salihu (Nigeria), Anatu Ben-Lawal (Ghana), and Ramatoulie Onike Othman (Gambia). The writers who will be in the residency for four weeks, will, in addition to their literary activities, also mentor school children in their Iseyin host community in the area of creative arts.
In its 13th year of operation, the Ebedi International Writers Residency, founded by the current Secretary General of Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Dr. Wale Okediran, is a private initiative for the free use for writers and artists. Since its inception in 2010, the facility has hosted 180 writers from 12 African countries.
Also, four writers Tares Oburumu, Ruth Chidera Echewe, Sadiq Mustafa and Taiye Ojo have arrived in the ancient town of Ilorin, Kwara State, for the first batch of the 2023 Imodoye Writers Residency programme. The four writers are expected to be the residency for three weeks and an optional one week.
Oburumu, a Bayelsa State-born poet and essayist, is based in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. He’s the author of six published chapbooks. Oburumu is the winner of the GAP poetry prize 2018 and his chapbook Origin of the Syma Species won The Sillerman First Book prize for African poets 2022. It will be published by Nebraska University Press, U.S. later this year. Oburumu was nominated for the Pushcart prize with Woven Tales Press 2019, and Ice Floes International literary journal 2021. Oburumu is in Imodoye residency to work and expand his three chapbooks: Erasure, Chatham House and Red: The Love Story of Annie Ernaux.
Ruth Chidera Echewe (Unbreakable) is a writer, editor, media personality and blogger. She publishes a potpourri of themes in unbreaky.comblog, with her personal blog space called UNBREAKABLE FEATURES. She’s a graduate of English and Literary Studies from the Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria, an indigene of Abia State, Nigeria, but resides in Enugu State. Echewe is in Imodoye to complete her work: Sisters Series, a prose work that deals with humans, certain bonds that sustain our existence and give us a different definition of life.
Abubakar Sadiq Mustapha is a poet, art curator, documentary photographer, and community developer. He studied Geology and Mining at Ibrahim Badamadi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, and is currently rounding off his Master’s degree programme at the same university. Mustapha uses books, photography, and arts to drive social change from girl-child education, and gender-based violence to youth participation in politics. He believes in the power of photography and how it can be used toward mental health. He’s in imodoye to complete his manuscript: Home is My Mother’s Tongue. Mustapha is a photo columnist with Salamander ink magazine and the curator of the Abubakar Gimba literacy campaign. He’s the project lead for The Lapai Bookclub’s mobile library and school, a project that takes reading and arts to grassroots communities in Northern Nigeria with the aim of increasing the literacy rate of the region and creating awareness in governance.
Ojo Taiye is a Delta-base Nigerian eco-artist and writer who uses poetry as a handy tool to hide his frustration with society. He’s the winner of the Hay Writer’s Circle poetry prize, US, in 2021, Calthalbui poetry prize, Ireland in 2021. In 2020, Taiye was selected to participate in Capital City Film Poetry Festival in Michigan and Poetry Introductory Series in Ireland. His commissioned works include Belfast Photo Festival 2021, Winnipeg Fringe Festival and Leeds Poetry Festival. Ojo’s recent works explore neocolonialism, institutionalized violence and ecological trauma in the oil-rich, polluted Niger Delta. His themes deal with the effects of climate change, homelessness, migration, drought and famine, as well as a range of transversal issues arising from racism, black identity and mental health. Ojo is in Imodoye to complete his poetry collection: Scoping Map.
Established by Dr. Usman Ladipo Akanbi, Imodoye Writers Residency is a private initiative for writers and visual artists keen on completing their ongoing work in a conducive environment at no cost. And as part of giving back to the community during their stay in the residency, the writers are expected to mentor secondary school students in Ilorin in creative art and writing.