LIBRARY of African and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) has unveiled its 18 residents for West African Writers. 120 applications were received from nine West African countries for the residency programme that has the support of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union (ACP-EU) Culture Programme for West Africa. The residents will be in Accra, Ghana, from March to July 2022.
Molara Wood is the author of Indigo, a collection of short stories published by Parresia in 2013. She is a journalist, culture critic and activist. Her writing experience spans two decades. She has done major editorial work on many books, including novels by major writers. She has been described as “one of the eminent voices in African literature”. She also hosts ART for the ‘People’, a podcast. Her short stories, flash fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications. These include African Literature Today, Chimurenga, Farafina Magazine, Sentinel Poetry, DrumVoices Revue, Sable Literary Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories to mention a few. She currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Joseph Kaifala is the Founder and Executive Director of the Jeneba Project Inc. He was born in Sierra Leone. Joseph is also a Human Rights activist, a Rastafarian, and a votary of ahimsa. He speaks six languages. He has served as a Davis United World College fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies; a Humanity In Action senior fellow; a Tom Lantos US Congressional fellow, and an intern at the Child and Adolescent Development Department of the World Health Organization in Geneva. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a Diploma in Intercultural Encounters from the Helsinki Summer School, and a Certificate in Professional French administered by the French Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded a 2012 Arthur C. Helton Fellowship by the American Society of International Law.
Nzinga Bandida is a writer, a translator, a reader, and a visual artist. She uses film, installations, collages, and other visual mediums to convey messages and open conversations. Her work sheds light on the living experiences of black women, especially francophone black women which revolves around the notions of black womanhood, Afro-diasporic realities, transmission, sexuality, spirituality, and mysticism. She has written across genres including articles, poems, and scenarii. Her articles have been published in online magazines such as OkayAfrica, Revue Ataye, and adventuresfrom, a Ghanaian website dedicated to African erotica. She has translated poems, afrofeminist essays and other books by black authors from Africa and its diaspora, the latest being “The Other Black Girl,” a book by African-American author, Zakiya Harris.
Cheryl S. Ntumy is a writer from Ghana who lives in Botswana. Her books range from romance to speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in Botswana Women Write (2019), We Will Lead Africa Volume 2: Women (2019) and the 2017 Caine Prize anthology The Goddess of Mtwara and Other Stories. She was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2018 for her story “Empathy”. She has also been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship for 2019. The science fiction is currently her favourite genre. Cheryl’s fiction is inspired by Ghanaian culture. Her most recent book They Made Us Blood and Fury: Chronicles of the Countless Clans Part 1 was published in December 2020.
Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi is a Nigerian writer. He is currently completing his B.A in History and International Studies at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is the winner of the Unilorin Faculty of Arts Prize for Poetry in 2018. Since 2018 Shedrack has been published in Kalahari Review, Praxis Online Magazine, The Roadrunner Review, Lagos Review, Olongo Africa, and elsewhere. He won the University of Ilorin Student Union Prize for fiction in 2020, was shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Prize for Poetry (EOPP), and recently won the PIN Poetically Written Prose Contest in October 2021.
Ferdulis Odome Angone is a research professor at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal). Her specialty is interested in African Hispanicisms, Francophone literature and Afropeanity from a cross perspective. Her scientific works deal with Africa in global imaginaries and intersectional (cyber)feminisms, among other lines of research. At the associative level, she is a researcher associated with the IMAF (Institut des Mondes Africains, France), founder and co-coordinator of the R.H.U.A (first Network of African University Hispanists). Femmes noires francophones (2020) is her new essay on patriarchy and racism from a sub-Saharan perspective. On a cultural level, he curated the exhibitions “Negro” (Madrid, Palmas de Gran Canarias, 2010) and “Mvet Ya Aba’a” (Museum of Human Evolution of Burgos, 2018.
Nathaniel Soonest is a Poet and spoken word artist. He is the author of “Teaching My Father How To Impregnate Women,” selected as the winner of the 2017 RL Poetry Award. He was Poet Laureate for 2014 Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Rattle, Silver Blade, The Pedestal Magazine, FIYAH, Silver Blade Poetry, Northridge Review, Praxis online Magazine, Raven Chronicles, Wiki Column, Saraba, Loudthotz, Northridge Review, Reverbnation, Elsewhere, Scintilla, Erbacce UK, Kalahari Review, Sentinel Nigeria, and many more.
Adam Nyang is a fiction writer from The Gambia whose work centres on the experiences of mental illness; the challenges, gains, nuances and reality of living with mental health disorders in Africa. She has received a bachelor’s degree in Morocco. She continues to work towards becoming a fiction author from her home country of The Gambia.
Linford Kennedy Amankwaa popularly known as Kojo_Cue is an award winning, Hip-Hop artist, journalist and digital marketer with over six years of experience in the Ghanaian creative industry. Writing fiction and poetry have always been Kojo’s first love. Kojo’s creative writing is immensely influenced by his early childhood encounters with the writing of Stephen King, John Milton, Ngugi Wa Thiong’O, Chinua Achebe and Peggy Oppong. He studied Literature in High School and received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from The Ghana Institute of Journalism. This led him to rap, the art form he is widely known for, which is a form of poetry. He has released three rap EPs/LPs including Pen and Paper (with Lil Shaker), For My Brothers, and his most recent EP, 21 Memory Lane, all of which have received critical acclaim.
Epifania Akosua Amoo-Adare is an academic luminary. She has lived and worked in various countries in Africa, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. She has a Ph.D. in Education and is also a RIBA part II qualified architect, with diverse post-disciplinary interests in areas such as Critical Pedagogy; Critical Social Theory; Critical Spatial Literacy; Cultural Studies; Decolonial Thinking, Being and Loving; Gender Studies (especially ‘Third World’ Feminisms); Globalization Studies; International Educational Development; Mobility Studies; and Urban Studies. Out of these eclectic interests, she has published a book, as well as several book chapters and articles in academic press. She has also published poems and opinion pieces, which she uses to reflect her experiences of travelling around the world—especially growing up in Accra, London and Nairobi. Epifania is the author of Spatial Literacy: Contemporary Asante Women’s Place-making (Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora), 2013.
Ivana Akotowaa Ofori is a multi-genre writer, storyteller, and performer. Her current area of work is speculative fiction. She recently earned a Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Pomona College in the USA. She was longlisted and/or shortlisted for the 2017 and 2018 Writivism Prizes, the 2020 Toyin Falola Prize, the 2020 Nommo Awards and, most recently, the 2021 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, leading to her signing with Bieke van Aggelen of the African Literary Agency. She is Ghanaian, born and raised in Accra.
Bartholomew Chizoba Akpah is Chair of the Department of Languages and Literature at William V. S Tubman University in the Republic of Liberia. He will be working on a paper on the creative work of Liberian poet, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, exploring the burdens of pain in her poetry as it relates to the war and post-traumatic war experience in Liberia. He is also a poet. His debut collection is called Land of Tales.
Okupe Mofiyinfoluwa is a Nigerian writer whose work includes poetry and long form personal essays. Her interests majorly revolve around non-fiction; personal essays that distil my lived experiences in relation to society at large, particularly keen interest in exploring the position of women in society, alongside broader constructions of gender. Her work has appeared in Kalahari Review, Agbowo Magazine, IceFloe Press Magazine and is forthcoming in Guernica. Her essay ‘Our Bodies Are Always Ready’ received nearly 10 thousand views, leading to my being selected as part of an exclusive pilot scheme for writers on Medium.
Henneh Kyereh Kwaku is from Gonasua in the Bono Region of Ghana. He is the author of Revolution of the Scavengers, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. Henneh was adjudged third place in the inaugural Samira Bawumia Literary Prize. He’s an editor for @WildPine_Poetry: an Instagram-based zine, the Contemporary Ghanaian Writers Series, Olongo Africa, and the Rev/host of Church of Poetry on Twitter Spaces. His work has appeared/forthcoming in World Literature Today, Poetry Society of America, Tupelo Quarterly, Lolwe, Agbowó, Tampered Press, Praxis Magazine, Random Photo Journal, Lunaris Review, CGWS, All Ghana: A Stage, Resilience, Olongo Africa and elsewhere.
Araba Ofori-Acquah is a healer and writer, committed to making wellness accessible and relevant to Black people around the world. She predominantly does this through content creation and community building. She has a publishing contract with Hay House Publishing to produce a book on African-centred wellness. She writes creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She was awarded a place on the 2020 Hay House Diverse Wisdom mentoring programme for aspiring authors and on the 2021 University of Iowa International Writing Programme creative writing for public health project. Her work is forthcoming in the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing Anthology.
Akumbu Uche, is an emerging writer currently making a transition from short fiction towards longer prose forms and novels. His short stories have been published in Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and Qarrtsiluni. His literary influences are both local and global, include African social realists such as Cyprian Ekwensi and Chukwuemeka Ike; British classics by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens as well as contemporary Japanese women’s writing from Banana Yoshimoto and Mieko Kawakami. He is influenced by traditional African oral storytelling traditions and was a member of writing and literary groups such as the Abuja Writers Forum and the Abuja Literary Society.
Gabriel Awuah Mainoo is a Ghanaian poet. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Cape Coast, and is a special prize winner of the Soka Matsubara international Haiku contest, winner of Forty Under 40 Awards for Authorship and Creative writing, LFP/ RML/ LOATAD chapbook winner and semi-finalist of the Jack Grape International Poetry Prize. Gabriel is the Author of Travellers Gather Dust and Lust, (Mwanaka Media and Publishing Pvt, Zimbabwe), We are Moulting Birds (Light Factory Publication, Canada) and Chicken Wings at the Altar, 60 Aces of Haiku and Lyrical Textiles (Illuminated Press, New York).
Immaculata Abba is a freelance writer, photographer and researcher based in Abuja, Nigeria. She received a Master’s in Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford and a double-first in History and Comparative Literature at the University of London. She was one of six out of 500 applicants awarded the inaugural African Arguments 2021 Journalism Fellowship. Her work focuses on investigating aspects of coloniality in pre- and post-Independence Nigerian.