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Three female writers arrive Ebedi writers’ residency


Dr. Wale Okediran

Three female writers, two from Ghana and one from Nigeria, have arrived Iseyin, Oyo State, Nigeria, for the July-August 2017 session of Ebedi International Writers Residency. They are Vanessa Shika Nanevie (Ghana) Mojalaoluwa Jejelola Olaifa (Nigeria) and Gertrude Serwaa Boadu (Ghana).

Nanevie is a graduate of Information Studies and Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana at Legon. A member of the Ghana Writers Association, some of her writings include a film script, Epic Wedding Table, as well as a digital story entitled ‘Miss to Mrs. Purple.’

During her stay in Ebedi, Nanevie will complete work on her Foreshortening Sfumato project where she plans to present the tales of four artistes, two Nigerian, a Ghanaian and a European in a docudrama via a digital platform. According to Vanessa, Foreshortening Sfumato is inspired by Mark Twain’s Is He dead, which was written in 1898 and published in 2003. She also hopes to teach Iseyin students Ghanaian storytelling approaches and folk music. With this, Nigerian students will be able to juxtapose the ‘Ghanaian way’ and the ‘Nigerian means’ of storytelling.

The second writer, Olaifa is a law graduate from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she was very active in student unionism and was the General Secretary of International Law Students Association (ILSA) for the university’s chapter among other positions. She currently works as the Associate Editor for Jacob and Lydia Publishers, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Her experiences of editing manuscripts and publishing literary works inspired her own writing career. She will be using her time in Ebedi to complete work on her short story collection, ‘Tabitha and Other Stories.’ She will also mentor Iseyin students in the art of story-telling through drama presentation.

The third writer, Boadu, a graduate of Theatre Arts from University of Ghana at Legon, loves to read, write and sing. She has among other things been an Intern Reporter at the Accra-based Graphic Communications Group Ltd and now works as an Investment Sales Executive in Accra, Ghana. A member of Ghana Writers Association, Boadu’s works have been published in Pan African Poetry Blueprint and Graphic ShowBiz publication among others. She wishes to use her time at the residency to complete work on a pan-African project aimed at writing poems mostly derived from African proverbs. The project started a year ago with the collection of Akan proverbs in Ghana. Her stay in Nigeria will enable her to collect proverbs in the Yoruba language for the poetry project. She also hopes to teach Iseyin students the four traditional dances of Ghana among other creative endeavors.

The Ebedi International Literary Writers Residency is a private initiative for writers to complete ongoing works in a conducive environment at no cost to the writers. Since its inception about eight years ago, the residency has hosted over 80 writers from eight African countries. Many of the past residents (Fellows) have used the residency to produce international award winning books. The latest is Ayobami Adebayo, a 2016 Ebedi Fellow whose novel, Stay With Me was recently shortlisted for the 2017 Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction.

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