A Ghanaian poet Macdell Joshua Kofi Sackey, Enugu-based Children’s Literature Writer, Chiaka Ukachukwu Obasi as well as bilingual author Taofeek Ademola Olayiwola have already arrived in Iseyin, Oyo State for the May/June 2013 session of the Ebedi Writers’ Residency. The writers will be in residence for six weeks (May 6 to June 20 2013).
Kofi Sackey had earlier attended the September 2012 session of the residency but was re-considered for another session by the Ebedi Board, to enable him complete a new poetry collection. Sackey, who is based in Accra, Ghana, is the recipient of the 1st Place Award of the 2007 Createwrite International Poetry Contest and a 2nd Place Award winner in the 2007 Peggy Zulieka Lynch Int. Poetry Contest.
The second writer, Chiaka Ukachukwu Obasi, is a graduate of Theatre Arts, a Copywriter and Concept Developer. He has attended some creative workshops facilitated by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jackie Kay and Nathan Englander, and the British Council’s Radiophonics facilitated by Dr. Graham Mort of Lancaster University, United Kingdom. Chiaka was shortlisted for the 2009 ANA/Lantern Prize for Children Fiction while one of his short stories won a consolation prize in the 2003 Short Story Competition organised by the Islamic Education Trust (Nigeria) for Oslo Coalition for Freedom of Religion and Belief.
The third writer, Taofeek Ademola Olanrewaju, holds a degree in Linguistics & Yoruba from the University of Ibadan as well as a diploma in Business Administration and Management. He has published 65 books in English and Yoruba with another 15 unpublished manuscripts. Many of Taofeek’s titles have been adopted by the Universal Basic Education (UBE 2002), the West African Examinations Council (WAEC 2011-15), the Ogun State Ministry of Education, Nigeria (2013 – 2016) and the Federal and some State Ministries of Education.
The Ebedi Writers Residency is an initiative to enable writers complete their ongoing works in a conducive environment at no cost to the writers. During their stay in Ebedi, the writers are also expected to mentor some secondary school students in Iseyin. Through this, many gifted young writers have been discovered and motivated to pursue a literary career. Since its inception on August 31 2010, Ebedi has hosted over 30 writers from countries such as Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Sierra Leone apart from Nigeria.
Uche Peter Umez