Following the Writivism Workshop Uganda on Saturday 19 January 2013, which was chaired by leading African writers Zukiswa Wanner, Beatrice Lamwaka and Hilda Twongyeirwe, the Writivism Project has moved on to the next exciting phase, which is the Writivism Mentorship Programme.
Hilda Twongyeirwe is currently the Coordinator of FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers Association. She grew up in Kacerere village, in Kabale district. She has co-edited two publications aimed at making heard voices of marginalized women; Farming Ashes (2008) and Beyond the Dance (2009). She has also contributed short stories and poems in different anthologies including; A Woman’s Voice (1998), Words From a Granary (2001), Tears of Hope (2003). In 2008 she was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the National Book Trust of Uganda for outstanding contribution to children’s literature for her book Fina the Dancer (2007), which is used as a Reader in Rwandan Primary schools.
Zukiswa Wanner: Born to a South African father and a Zimbabwean mother in Zambia, Zukiswa Wanner is the author of the novels The Madams (2006), Behind Every Successful Man (2008), Commonwealth and Herman Charles Bosman Award shortlisted Men of the South (2010). Her two children’s books, Jama Loves Bananas and Refilwe, came out in 2012. Wanner is co-editor of the African-Asian short story anthology Behind the Shadows (2012) with Indian author and editor, Rohini Chowdhury. She is one of 66 writers in the world (with Wole Soyinka, Jeanette Winterson, and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, among others) to write a contemporary response to the Bible. Wanner co-authored A Prisoner’s Home (2010), a biography on the first Mandela house 8115 Vilakazi Street with award-winning South African photographer Alf Kumalo as well as L’Esprit du Sport (2010) with French photographer Amelie Debray. Wanner has contributed articles to Observer, Forbes Africa, New Statesman, O, Elle, The Guardian, Africa Review, Mail & Guardian among others. She regularly blogs at www.zukiswawanner.wordpress.com
Beatrice Lamwaka: Please refer to Beatrice Lamwaka’s profile in the “Mentors” section below.
The Writivism Mentorship Programme entails pairing the workshop participants with some of Africa’s young dynamic writers, who will work with the participants to strengthen their stories. The goal of the Uganda WriTivism Project is to inspire young people to be the authors of their personal, their community’s and their country’s futures respectively. This project aims to train young people to use writing as a tool to address issues of social and cultural change in their communities, and pools resources from Africa’s dynamic and talented capital. The Writivism Project is inspired by the three Harambe questions: If not Now, When? If not Here, Where? If not I, Who?
Beatrice Lamwaka is a journalist with Global Press Institute and Daily Monitor. She is a recipient of 2011 Young Achievers Award in the category of Art, Culture and Fashion. She was Laureate for Council for the Development of Social Science (CODESRIA) Democratic Governance Institute 2010 in Dakar, Senegal. She was shortlisted for the prestigious 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing and finalist for the PEN/Studzinski Literary Award 2009. She was a fellow for the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in 2009 where she researched on land disputes in northern Uganda. She has worked as a researcher and teacher in Uganda; and in Italy and Sudan, she worked with an international humanitarian agency. She is working on her first novel, a number of short stories, and a series of children stories.
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is a Zimbabwe born writer. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance from the University of Witwatersrand. Her short stories appear in a variety of anthologies including A Life In Full and Other Stories: Caine Prize Anthology (New Internationalist Publishers, UK 2010) and Bed Book of Short Stories (Modjaji Books, South Africa 2010) . She was awarded the Intwasa Short Story Award, now known as the Yvonne Vera Award, for her short story ‘You In Paradise’, and shortlisted for the 2012 Zimbabwe Achievers Literature Award for her short story ‘Doctor S’. She has been a participant in both the Caine Prize Writing Workshop, and the Farafina Trust Writing Workshop. Her book, Shadows, described by 2011 Caine Prize Winner NoViolet Bulawayo as ‘an impressive and important debut’, is to be published in 2013 by Kwela, South Africa.
Emmanuel Iduma is the author of Farad, a novel published in Nigeria by Parresia Publishers. He holds a degree in Law from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and has been called to the Nigerian Bar.
He is co-publisher of Saraba Magazine, editor of 3bute and content management supervisor of Invisible Borders. He works as a manager for creative projects in Lagos. A link to most of his writing can be found at http://www.mriduma.com/writings/
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim: Born in Jos Nigeria, the 28 year old has been writing since childhood. He graduated from the University of Jos in Nigeria with a degree in mass communication. He is one of the most acclaimed writers. He is the Arts editor of the Sunday Trust; one of the leading news papers in Nigeria. In 2007 he won the BBC African Performance Play Writing Competition with his play ‘A Bull Man’s Story’ which demonstrates the impact that domestic violence can have on the life of a child. In 2008 he won the Amatu braid prize for his prose and was a runner up for the ANA Plateau Poetry Prize. ‘Whispering Trees’ a collection of twelve short stories, and ‘Quest for Nina’ a novel are some of his greatest work.
Dami Ajayi, born in 1986, is a medical doctor, poet, short-story writer, occasional essayist, former blogger and book reviewer.
His works have appeared in several journals in America, Canada, Cameroun, Europe and of course, his home country, Nigeria.
His debut collection of poems was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Melita Hume Poetry Prize.He lives in Ilesha, Ife and Ibafo. He is working on a novella and a collection of short stories.
Ukamaka Olisakwe Evelyn: In addition to being a new generation Nigerian novelist, Ukamaka Olisakwe, a young mother of two daughters and one son, is also a banker in Nigeria with a degree in Computer Science. Her debut novel Eyes of a Goddess was published in March 2012 by Piraeus Books LLC.
She started out with flash fiction and later, her short story, Girl to Woman ignited the interest of Sentinel Nigeria, which later published her short story, Running.
Olisakwe is the moderator of AfricaReadsWritesTheVision, an online book club aimed to encourage reading and thinking in Africans and successfully runs monthly book reading for its writers and readers the world over.
Richard Ugbede Ali is a lawyer born in Kano Nigeria. He is the publicity secretary of the association of Nigerian authors, the chief editor of an on line magazine called the sentinel Nigeria. He is the founder managing director at Mantle Technology Limited an IT company. For the most part, Richard Ali has been writing prose and poetry. A number of his poems have been published by reputable international journals; Prosopisia and The African Writing Journal. New on his list is the novel “City of memories”, with love as the main theme, which follows the forbidden love affair of the children of two rivaling political colossus.
At 25, Onyeka Nwelue is a cultural entrepreneur, a film director and one of the youngest acclaimed writers in Nigeria. In 2009 he was nominated for the artist of the year in The Future Award. Because of his parents’ dream, he was taken to a missionary school, but 6 years later he moved to India to further his studies and here he enhanced his writing. He got his big break with his novel ‘Abyssinian Boy’ which was inspired by true events. He is the manager of Blues and Hills Consultancy, he has edited Film Afrique; an online magazine. He has written for The Sun , The Wild goose Poetry, and The Guardian to mention only a few. He is currently living in Prague, Czech Republic.