The Ebedi International Writers Residency recipients for Feb/March 2018 are Chibųìhè Obi, Blessing Akinsehinwa, Silas Katung and Wole Ayoola.
The Ebedi International Writers Residency Program is a unique initiative for creative writers wishing to complete their works in a conducive environment at no cost. It is affiliated with several international literary bodies including the Wole Soyinka Writers Residency in Abeokuta has hosted over 70 writers from six different countries since it was established seven years ago. Some previous beneficiaries of Ebedi include Doreen Baingana, Igoni Barrett, and Yewande Omotoso.
The Residency which is unique on the continent offers a 6 week full board facility with residents expected to mentor secondary school students in Iseyin as part of their community service during their stay also have a publishing opportunity with a Lagos based Publisher, Literamed Publishers.
The latest residents at the residency home in Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria are all Nigerian and include three writers and a visual artist which is a new direction for the residency. Here are the profiles of the residents.
Chibųìhè Obi, from Imo State is a poet, essayist, photographer and teacher. His works explore identity, language and belonging, and have been featured or forthcoming in magazines, anthologies and journals like Brittle Paper, Expound, the Kalahari review, Praxis Magazine, The Black Boy Review, 14: Anthology of queer Art, Mounting the Moon etc. He is the winner of the Brittle Paper Anniversary Award 2017, Babishai Niwe Haiku Prize 2016 as well as the 2013 Splendid Literature Series competition junior category. He was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart prize for his essay, Of War, Photographs and Memory. He is currently on the Gerald Kraak award shortlist. His essay, We’re Queer We’re Here, which went viral last year has been made into a short film. Obi will be using his time at Ebedi to complete his debut poetry collection, tentatively titled, My Body in Translation and a poetry chapbook with Naming our Losses as the working title. He will also use his five year working experience as a Literature Teacher to teach Iseyin secondary school students the basics of creative nonfiction.
Blessing Akinsehinwa a native of Ondo State is an Abuja based Lawyer and Writer. He is currently the Principal Partner at Akinsehinwa & Co, a law firm where he engages in Litigation, Soliciting, and Business Consulting with particular emphasis on start-ups. Blessing is also passionately engaged in the art of writing — fiction and nonfiction— which have been published in journals and online platforms within and outside Nigeria. Further to this, his story – ON THE SHORES OF DEATH- emerged among the top five in the AWF Nigeria Ecuador Short Story National Contest. The winning stories were translated into Spanish language and published in an anthology that was launched in Nigeria and Ecuador. He wants to use his time in Ebedi to meet other writers – emerging and established, and to impart on young minds. His main focus is to write, edit and promote a collection of short stories which will be published in 2018 in an electronic book format.
Innocence Silas Katung
Innocence Silas Katung from Kaduna State is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, book reviewer, documentary film-maker, and a literary development worker who writes under the pen name, Sharamang Silas. A 2014 graduate of English and Literary Studies, Bayero University, Kano, he currently serves as the Programmes Coordinator, SEVHAGE Literary and Development Initiative, Makurdi. As a literary development worker, he has twice facilitated writing workshop for students of Benue State University and has initiated a blueprint to undertake a year-round regional writing workshop that will kick-start in 2018 for secondary students across selected States of Northern Nigeria. Sharamang Silas has been widely published online and in-print, including appearances in Praxis Magazine, African Writer, ANA Review, and in different anthologies such as The Promise This Time SEVHAGE Anthology of Flood Poems. Silas won the 7th Korea-Nigeria Poetry Prize 2017, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Youth Council Poetry Prize 2017 and won the 2016 AMAB Bookshop Teachers’ Day Poetry Competition. He will use his time at the Ebedi International Writers’ Residency, to complete his on-going poetry collection, tentatively titled The City of God, which has been on halt for a long time. The Ebedi International Writers Residency, established in September 2010, is a private initiative for the use of writers wishing to complete their ongoing works in a conducive environment at no cost to the writers.
The Visual Artist, Wole Ayoola from Oyo State is a graduate of Fine Arts from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and a Member of the Society of Nigerian Artists. He has over the years held exhibitions in many parts of Nigeria including the National Festival of Arts and Culture Art Exhibition in Ilorin in 2011. He is also the author for the Evans Publishers book on Creative Arts from Primary School to Senior Secondary Level. Ayoola who specialises in painting and design using different media to express his thoughts on various issues has his works in private and corporate establishments all over the world. At Ebedi, Ayoola would be exploring the use of soil in different colours in mural paintings. Colourful local mat (eni) mixed with pigments will also be explored to paint landscapes. He will also engage secondary school students in Iseyin in drawings and paintings making use of available materials to expose them to improvisation of materials in art.