Our 2022 West African Writers (WAW) Residency is officially over! What a joy it’s been these past five months to be in community with writers, thinkers, and all-round good people from across the region!
Since February, we’ve hosted 18 writers, including two from our Digital Residency, at LOATAD in Accra. For most, this was their first experience of doing a residency and, for many, their first experience of being in Ghana. We’ve talked, laughed, learned, and shared. We’ve expanded our community and our LOATAD family.
We saw with our own eyes how residents arrived as Nigerians and Sierra Leoneans, Ghanaians and Gambians, Ivorians and Liberians and left us a little more African. The experience of living in close quarters with others from around the region was character-defining and one of the markers of the programme’s success. It’s also evidence of why the residency is so necessary.
There are only a handful of writing residencies in Africa. The undeniable impact of our WAW Residency convinces us that this programme must continue. In the words of WAW Group 2 resident, Akumbu Uche: “When I applied for the residency, all I wanted was uninterrupted time to work on my novel. I got more than I bargained for […] I gained a community of fellow creatives from diverse literary traditions whose feedback and encouragement have shaped the direction of my work-in-progress and reaffirmed my career goals.” The next programme will only get better. We are open to any individuals and organisations who would like to support this.
We would like to thank our funders, the ACP EU Promotion of West African Culture (AWA) Programme. We would also like to thank Judith Opoku-Boateng and the team at the Nketia Archives at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr Wale Okediran and the team at the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Kwame Akoto Bamfo and the team at the Nkyinkyim Museum, Rita Mawuena Benissan and the team at the Noldor Residency, Va-Bene Elikem-Fiatsi, Theresa Ankomah, Institut Francais Ghana and Mme Diop Wane of Presence Africaine, Professor Amina Mama, Writers Project Ghana, Auntie Grace of Gem Star School, and Asili Coffee.
And, of course, heartfelt thanks to our residents:
- Molara Wood (@molara_wood) 🇳🇬
- Joseph Kaifala 🇸🇱
- Nzinga Bandida 🇨🇮
- Shedrack Akanbi 🇳🇬
- Soonest Nathaniel (@soonest.nathaniel) 🇳🇬
- Adam Nyang (@adam_chumbay) 🇬🇲
- Linford Kennedy Amankwaa (@kojo_cue) 🇬🇭
- Epifania Amoo Adare (@eamooadare) 🇬🇭
- Ivana Akotowaa Ofori (@akotowaa) 🇬🇭
- Bartholomew C. Akpah 🇱🇷
- Okupe Mofiyinfoluwa (@ms_okupe) 🇳🇬
- Henneh Kwaku Kyereh (@kwaku_kyereh) 🇬🇭
- Araba Ofori Acquah (@araba.oa) 🇬🇭
- Akumbu Uche (@xoakumbu) 🇳🇬
- Gabriel Awuah Mainoo (@gabriel_awuah_mainoo) 🇬🇭
- Immaculata Abba (@immaculata.na) 🇳🇬
- Adachukwu Onwudiwe (@justadachi) 🇳🇬
- Orsod Malik (@orsodmalik) 🇸🇩 🇬🇧
[Picture: WAW Group 4 Resident, Shedrack Akanbi 🇳🇬 at Sakumono Beach, Accra in July 2022]