Our dynamic group of former residents from across Africa and the Diaspora on the continent and beyond:
Molara Wood is the author of Indigo (a collection of short stories, Parresia 2013), and is a journalist, a critic and a cultural activist. Her writing experience spans two decades. She has done major editorial work on many books, including novels by major writers. She has been described as “one of the eminent voices in African literature”. She also hosts ART for the People, a podcast. Her short stories, flash fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous publications. These include African Literature Today, Chimurenga, Farafina Magazine, Sentinel Poetry, DrumVoices Revue, Sable Literary Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, The New Gong Book of New Nigerian Short Stories, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories, to mention a few. She currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Joseph Kaifala is the Founder and Executive Director of the Jeneba Project Inc. He was born in Sierra Leone. Joseph is also a Human Rights activist, a Rastafarian, and a votary of ahimsa. He speaks six languages. He has served as a Davis United World College fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies; a Humanity In Action senior fellow; a Tom Lantos US Congressional fellow, and an intern at the Child and Adolescent Development Department of the World Health Organization in Geneva. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a Diploma in Intercultural Encounters from the Helsinki Summer School, and a Certificate in Professional French administered by the French Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded a 2012 Arthur C. Helton Fellowship by the American Society of International Law.
Adam Nyang is a fiction writer from The Gambia whose work centres on the experiences of mental illness; the challenges, gains, nuances and reality of living with mental health disorders in Africa. She has received a bachelor’s degree in Morocco. She continues to work towards becoming a fiction author from her home country, The Gambia.
Epifania Akosua Amoo-Adare is an academic luminary. She has lived and worked in various countries in Africa, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. She has a Ph.D. in Education and is also a RIBA part II qualified architect, with diverse post-disciplinary interests in areas such as Critical Pedagogy; Critical Social Theory; Critical Spatial Literacy; Cultural Studies; Decolonial Thinking, Being and Loving; Gender Studies (especially ‘Third World’ Feminisms); Globalization Studies; International Educational Development; Mobility Studies; and Urban Studies. Out of these eclectic interests, she has published a book, as well as several book chapters and articles in academic press. She has also published poems and opinion pieces, which she uses to reflect her experiences of travelling around the world—especially growing up in Accra, London and Nairobi. Epifania is the author of Spatial Literacy: Contemporary Asante Women’s Place-making (Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora), 2013.
Ivana Akotowaa Ofori is a multi-genre writer, storyteller, and performer. Her current area of work is speculative fiction. She recently earned a Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Pomona College in the USA. She was longlisted and/or shortlisted for the 2017 and 2018 Writivism Prizes, the 2020 Toyin Falola Prize, the 2020 Nommo Awards and, most recently, the 2021 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, leading to her signing with Bieke van Aggelen of the African Literary Agency. She is Ghanaian, born and raised in Accra.
Shedrack Opeyemi Akanbi is a Nigerian writer. He is currently completing his B.A in History and International Studies at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is the winner of the Unilorin Faculty of Arts Prize for Poetry in 2018, Since 2018 Shedrack has been published in Kalahari Review, Praxis Online Magazine, The Roadrunner Review, Lagos Review, Olongo Africa, and elsewhere. He won the University of Ilorin Student Union Prize for fiction in 2020, was shortlisted for the Eriata Orihghabor Prize for Poetry (EOPP), and recently won the PIN Poetically Written Prose Contest in October 2021.
Linford Kennedy Amankwaa popularly known as Kojo_Cue is an award-winning, Hip-Hop artist, journalist and digital marketer with over six years of experience in the Ghanaian creative industry. Writing fiction and poetry have always been Kojo’s first love. He studied Literature in High School and received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from The Ghana Institute of Journalism. This led him to rap, the art form he is widely known for, which is a form of poetry. He has released three rap EPs/LPs including Pen and Paper (with Lil Shaker), For My Brothers, and his most recent EP, 21 Memory Lane, all of which have received critical acclaim.
Nathaniel Soonest is a Poet and spoken word artist. He is the author of “Teaching My Father How To Impregnate Women,” selected as the winner of the 2017 RL Poetry Award. He was Poet Laureate for 2014 Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Rattle, Silver Blade, The Pedestal Magazine, FIYAH, Silver Blade Poetry, Northridge Review, Praxis online Magazine, Raven Chronicles, Wiki Column, Saraba, Loudthotz, Northridge Review, Reverbnation, Elsewhere, Scintilla, Erbacce UK, Kalahari Review, Sentinel Nigeria, and many more.
Bartholomew Chizoba Akpah is Chair of the Department of Languages and Literature at William V. S Tubman University in the Republic of Liberia. He will be working on a paper on the creative work of Liberian poet, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley, exploring the burdens of pain in her poetry as it relates to the war and post-traumatic war experience in Liberia. He is also a poet. His debut collection is called Land of Tales.
Okupe Mofiyinfoluwa is a Nigerian writer whose work includes poetry and long form personal essays. Her interests majorly revolve around non-fiction; personal essays that distil my lived experiences in relation to society at large, particularly keen interest in exploring the position of women in society, alongside broader constructions of gender. Her work has appeared in Kalahari Review, Agbowo Magazine, IceFloe Press Magazine and is forthcoming in Guernica. Her essay ‘Our Bodies Are Always Ready’ received nearly ten thousand views, leading to my being selected as part of an exclusive pilot scheme for writers on Medium.
Henneh Kyereh Kwaku is from Gonasua in the Bono Region of Ghana. He is the author of Revolution of the Scavengers, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. Henneh was adjudged third place in the inaugural Samira Bawumia Literary Prize. He’s an editor for @WildPine_Poetry: an Instagram-based zine, the Contemporary Ghanaian Writers Series, Olongo Africa, & the Rev/host of Church of Poetry on Twitter Spaces. His work has appeared/forthcoming in World Literature Today, Poetry Society of America, Tupelo Quarterly, Lolwe, Agbowó, Tampered Press, Praxis Magazine, Random Photo Journal, Lunaris Review, CGWS, All Ghana: A Stage, Resilience, Olongo Africa & elsewhere.
Akumbu Uche, is an emerging writer currently making a transition from short fiction towards longer prose forms and novels. Her short stories have been published in Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review and Qarrtsiluni. Her literary influences are both local and global, including African social realists such as Cyprian Ekwensi and Chukwuemeka Ike; British classics by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens as well as contemporary Japanese women’s writing from Banana Yoshimoto and Mieko Kawakami. She is influenced by traditional African oral storytelling traditions and was a member of writing and literary groups such as the Abuja Writers Forum and the Abuja Literary Society.
Gabriel Awuah Mainoo is a Ghanaian poet. He earned a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Cape Coast, and is a special prize winner of the Soka Matsubara international Haiku contest, winner of Forty Under 40 Awards for Authorship and Creative writing, LFP/ RML/ LOATAD chapbook winner and semifinalist of the Jack Grape International Poetry Prize. Gabriel is the Author of Travellers Gather Dust and Lust, (Mwanaka Media and Publishing Pvt, Zimbabwe), We are Moulting Birds;(Light Factory Publication, Canada), Chicken Wings at the Altar, 60 Aces of Haiku and Lyrical Textiles; (Illuminated Press, New York).
Araba Ofori-Acquah is a healer and writer, committed to making wellness accessible and relevant to Black people around the world. She predominantly does this through content creation and community building. She has a publishing contract with Hay House Publishing to produce a book on African-centred wellness. She writes creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She was awarded a place on the 2020 Hay House Diverse Wisdom mentoring programme for aspiring authors and on the 2021 University of Iowa International Writing Programme creative writing for public health project. Her work is forthcoming in the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing Anthology.
Immaculata Abba is a freelance writer, photographer and researcher based in Abuja, Nigeria. She received a Master’s in Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford and a double-first in History and Comparative Literature at the University of London. She was one of six out of 500 applicants awarded the inaugural African Arguments 2021 Journalism Fellowship. Her work focuses on investigating aspects of coloniality in pre- and post- Independence Nigerian.
Orsod Malik is a UK-based Sudanese digital archivist, curator, producer and editor currently working for the Stuart Hall Foundation and the International Curators Forum. His practice focuses on developing new ways to arrange archival materials from anticolonial movements to make sense of present-day political and cultural formations. His approach to archival work puts Stuart Hall’s concept of a ‘living archive’ into action – the idea that the archive can produce knowledge about the present if the practice of archiving is understood as a process without closure. He has applied this theory to his practice, which involves the archiving of audio and visual materials from anti-imperial movements in order to locate continuities in dissent and subjugation. He presents and curates this work as Code Switch, which was featured by the Mosaic Rooms and Frieze magazine in 2020. During the residency, Orsod will challenge Eurocentric methods of organising archival materials to demonstrate the importance of drawing links between anticolonial resistance and thought in ways that trouble dominant understandings of time and space.
Ama Addo is a Ghanaian-American writer whose mission is to strengthen the ties between Africa and its diaspora for collective empowerment. Her writing focuses on multi-layered identities, the evolution of culture, access to resources, business, Africanisms and Ghana as a growing nexus for the African diaspora. She shares Ghana repatriation and entrepreneurship resources through her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint, and tells stories to empower the African diaspora at FunTimes Magazine. Her recent works include the short film, ‘The Return.’ Her current project, a stage play called ‘Nommo,’ is based on the mythology of the Nommo tribe of Mali, and chronicles a young goddess’s journey from space to Earth in search for connection and community. During the residency, she will be working on Afrofuturism, Accessibility and Intertwined Destiny: The Future of African Diaspora Literature.
Adachukwu Onwudiwe is a library professional with over five years’ experience in a think tank research library, and three years in a start-up digital library, Crater Library & Publisher (thecraterlibrary.com), a platform where Nigerian electronic educational, research and literacy resources are deposited, curated, and made accessible for use. Her journey with Crater has exposed her to the demands of modern library leadership and administration, and to the demands of a profession which relies on collaboration to impact communities. At the heart of Crater is taking advantage of the internet to make books accessible digitally, in addition to figuring out proven ways to secure e-books on the web. During the residency, Ada will share her experience, discuss, learn, and collaborate with other professionals and LOATAD’s community, with the aim to improve librarianship in Africa.
Nzinga Bandida (not pictured) is a writer, a translator, a reader, and a visual artist. She uses film, installations, collages, and other visual mediums to convey messages and open conversations. Her work sheds light on the living experiences of black women, especially francophone black women which revolves around the notions of black womanhood, Afro-diasporic realities, transmission, sexuality, spirituality, and mysticism. She has been published in OkayAfrica, Revue Ataye, and adventuresfrom, a Ghanaian website dedicated to African erotica. She has translated poems, afrofeminist essays and other books by black authors from Africa and its diaspora, the latest being “The Other Black Girl,” a book by African-American author, Zakiya Harris.