Three writers, from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria have arrived Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria as the first set of the 2017 Ebedi International Writers Residency Program. They are Peter Ngila, TJ Benson, and Francis Grant Kwesi Gbormittah.
The Ebedi International Writers Residency Program is a private initiative for creative writers wishing to complete their works in a conducive environment at no cost. The program which 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 Kenyan writer, Peter Ngila, a trained journalist is the recipient of the 2016 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award. His short fiction has appeared in Jalada’s Languages Anthology, Jalada’s Translation Anthology, Brittle Paper, Prachya Review, Lawino, Praxis magazine, Daily News (a Tanzanian newspaper) and Story Zetu; and anthologised in Ebedi Review. During his stay at Ebedi International Writers Residency, Peter will complete work on a novel. He will also interact with and teach Iseyin students general creative writing.
From Ghana is Francis Grant Kwesi Gbormittah, a lecturer and Phd candidate at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra. Francis who is also a poet and an active member of the Ghana Writers Association is a specialist in Film and Television Aesthetics and Technology. A literary scholar with several distinguished papers to his name, Francis will spend his time at Ebedi to complete work on his collection of poetry as well as a seminal work on the Annual Easter Apetorku Festival of his native Ghana. The paper which has already been accepted for the forthcoming collection entitled; FESTIVALS AND FAIRS; CELEBRATIONS OF CULTURE will be published later in the year by the University of Iowa Press. As part of his mentorship project in Iseyin, Francis will work with Iseyin students in the areas of Film and Television productions. He will also teach the students poetry and oral culture from the view point of his native Akan ethnic group in Ghana.
The Nigerian writer and photographer is Benson Tarfa Jason from Benue State. He has previously worked as editor and columnist for Aspire.org.ng , MGE UK Men’s fashion magazine as well as Afrisphere.com. In February 2015, he got a commission to produce a collection of photography and poetry titled ‘Self’. Before coming to Ebedi, T J Benson had attended the 2013 Yasmin El’Rufai creative writing workshop and was selected for the 2014 First Bank Naked Convos Competition. In 2016, he won the AMAB House of Books contest as well as a publishing deal from the Saraba Manuscript Prize.
He has been published in the following publications; Kalahari Review, Munyori Journal, 14th issue of sentinel magazine, Paragram Uk, Contemporary literary review India, Jalada Africa, African Hadithi, Expound magazine, Afridiaspora Journal as well as Transition Magazine. He also has a collection of prose-poetry and parables ‘The Devil’s Music’
During his stay in Ebedi, T J Benson will complete work on a new novel; Mad House. He will also mentor secondary school students in Iseyin in the arts of photography and visual poetry.