The founder-patron is Dr. Wale Okediran, a soft-spoken medical doctor who is also a prolific and award-winning writer. With at least ten novels/memoirs to his credit, the man also runs a medical column in the Nigerian Tribune. Note: By all means read his Tenants of The House, 2010 winner of the Lumina (Wole Soyinka) prize for African Literature, and definitely one of the ten coolest novels Nigeria has produced in the past ten years.
Interestingly, Dr. Okediran is also a politician. He was the Secretary, then the President of ANA, the Association of Nigerian Authors. From 2003-2007, he was a legislator, representing Iseyin / Kajola / Iwujola / Itesiwaju area of Oyo State in the Nigerian National Assembly. He was the ACN candidate for Senate (Oyo North Senatorial District) in the 2011 election.
I would like to read his other (harder-to-find) works, which include (primary source) and a handful of others:
Call to Worship, 1990 - won American Poetry Association Book Prize
The Boys At The Border, 1991 - Commonwealth Literature Prize Shortlist
Rainbows are for Lovers, 2nd edition published by Spectrum Books 1993
The Rescue of Uncle Babs, 1998 - won ANA Prize for Children’s Literature
Dreams Die at Twilight, 2004 - NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature Shortlist
Strange Encounters, 2004 - published by Heinemann, won ANA Best Fiction Prize
The Weaving Loom, 2008 - shortlist Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa
Tenants of The House, 2010, cowinner with Coconuts (South Africa) is a captivating tale of politricks inspired by his tenure in the National Assembly.
Fearless, 2012, is a memoir of his House of Reps colleague, Femi Gbajabiamilla.
The Ebedi Residency is one of very few in Africa, and the only writers' residency I know of in Nigeria, so far.
It began humbly via blog/newsletter announcements in 2010.
Lola Okusami and Abiodun Adebiyi became the first residents in September 2010. After reading about it in NEXT, I thought: wow, I really really want to do this, and after the boys had had their run, I was in the fourth pair one year later. Yess!
In its second year, our little residency became more international with writers from West and East Africa, and bigger - with an intake class size of three, up from two at a time.
What will year three and beyond bring?
|Writers at Ebedi, Biodun and Lola|
Who can apply? How to apply? I believe a website is in the works. Otherwise, all I can say is that it is open to authors of fiction, poetry, or drama, and it is intended to develop the local community as well as enrich the larger world. Your best bet is either follow a writerly newsletter or blog for upcoming announcements or email firstname.lastname@example.org with enquiries about latest application requirements (usually a writing sample and bio/CV).
Cast and News for Ebedi International Writers' Residency
September/October 2010: Announcement, Press, Lola Olusami, Abiodun Adebiyi
November/December 2010: Interviews, Charles Oluyori, Kenechukwu Obi
January/February 2011: Press, NEXT, Trust, A. Igoni Barrett and Emmanuel Ugokwe (Igbo language)
August/September 2011: Story, Press, Guardian, Nation, Spencer Okoroafor, Anaele Ihuoma
October/November 2011: Press, Story, Reactions, Interview, , Ladi Opaluwa, Tosin Otitoju (me)
January/February 2012 : Forum, NSnews, Punch, Doreen Baingana (Uganda, Commonwealth Prize 2009), Dr. Dul Johnson, Nehru Odey
March/April 2012 class: Announcement, Tribune, Interviews, Temitayo Olofinlua, Barbara Oketta (Kenya/Uganda)
June/July 2012 class: Biographies, Press, Malawi's Stanley Kenani?, Press, Interview, Richard Ali, Niyi Fasanmi, Awwal Sakiwa (an illustrator)
September/October 2012 class: Interviews, Onyebuchi Nwosu, Macdell Joshua Sackey (from Ghana), Samuel Kolawole
November/December 2012 - three girls?
Recurring roles: Press, Salvation Otubu and the lovely secondary school students of Iseyin, Alhazan Abiodun, Aunty and Uncle Okediran, The Board (Alkasim Abdulkadir, Akintayo Abodunrin, Maryam Ali Ali, Uche Peter Umez, ...)
|Dr. Wale Okediran, initiator of Ebedi Writers Residency Programme|
Nov/Dec 2012: Interviews, Blessing Mba, Lillian Christopher, and Salamatu Sule
Jan/Feb 2013: Story, Punch, Elnathan John, Musa Idris Okpanachi, John Kofi Asiedu Sarpong
Mar/Apr 2013: Four Women: Ayodele Olofintuade , Agiresaasi Apophia, Yewande Omotosho, Rukayat Olaleye
NEW Official blog: EbediResidency.blogspot.com
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