Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ has written for The New York Times, Wasafiri, Elle, the BBC, The Guardian, Grazia, Saraba Magazine and others. Ayọ̀bámi is the author of Stay With Me, which was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project, the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It has also been longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. It was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, and others. At Africa Writes 2019, Ayọ̀bámi speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30, Love and Sickle Cell in Stay with Me, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-11:45 and at African Books to Inspire: Makings of Masculinity, Sunday 7 July, 13:20-14:45.
Lanaire AderemiLanaire Aderemi is a poet, playwright and performer and sociology student at Warwick. In April 2019, she won an Artistic Development Award for her show ‘ an evening with verse writer’(Tristan Bates,2018),( Shoot Festival,2019). Lanaire has facilitated workshops at Tate Modern and Warwick University and has been commissioned by Coventry City of Culture. She is currently working on her show which shows at the Warwick Arts Centre in October. At Africa Writes 2019, Lanaire speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Sulaiman AddoniaSulaiman Addonia is Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist. The Consequences of Love, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, was translated into more than 20 languages. He currently lives in Brussels where he has launched a creative writing academy for refugees and asylum seekers & the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile). Silence is My Mother Tongue, his second novel, has been longlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. At Africa Writes 2019 Sulaiman speaks at African Books to Inspire: Makings of Masculinity, Sunday 7 July, 13:20-14:45.
Victoria Adukwei BulleyVictoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer and filmmaker. A former Barbican Young Poet, her work has appeared in The Poetry Review, Ambit, and The Chicago Review, in addition to featuring on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2018, and has held artistic residencies internationally in the US, Brazil, and the V&A Museum in London. At Africa Writes 2019, Victoria speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Adesola AkinyeleDr. Adesola Akinleye is a choreographer, performer, writer, teachers and speaker. She began her career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem (USA) later working in UK Companies such as Green Candle. Her work is characterized by an interest in glimpsing and voicing peoples lived experiences through creative moving portraiture. Founder and Director of DancingStrong and triip (turning research ideas into practice), a key aspect of her process is the artistry of opening creative practices to everyone from ballerinas to women in low wage employment to performance for young audiences. At Africa Writes 2019 Adesola performs at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.
Afrikult.Afrikult. is a literary organisation focused on widening access to African literatures. Afrikult. curates and facilitates literary and creative writing workshops for schools and festivals, programme events and partners with leading and grass-root organisations. Afrikult.’s website launched in 2014. In 2018, Afrikult. was awarded Arts Council England grant to deliver its research and development workshop programme in schools, and develop workshops in Kenya. Its latest programme ‘Stories of Home’ is for refugees and asylum-seekers living in London. Run by Marcelle Mateki Akita, Zaahida Nabagereka and supported by Keren Lasme. @afrikult. At Africa Writes 2019 Afrikult. participates in Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Raymond AntrobusRaymond Antrobus is a British-Jamaican poet. He is the author of ‘To Sweeten Bitter' and 'The Perseverance' which recently won The Ted Hughes award 2018. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Complete Works 3, Jerwood Compton Poetry. He has an MA in Spoken Word education from Goldsmiths University. In 2018 he was awarded 'The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize’ judged by Ocean Vuong. At Africa Writes 2019 Raymond speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.
Lesley Nneka ArimahLesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. Her stories have been honored with a National Magazine Award, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, , McSweeney’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation and MacDowell. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club among other honors. Arimah is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing. She lives in Las Vegas and is working on a novel about you. At Africa Writes 2019 Lesley speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
Fareda BandaFareda Banda is a Professor of Law at SOAS, University of London. Her area of interest is Women’s Rights with a focus on the rights of African women. She has a passion for the literatures of the continent and the diaspora. At Africa Writes 2019 Fareda speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
Siana BanguraSiana Bangura is a writer, poet, performer and producer hailing from South East London, now living, working and creating in the West Midlands. She is the author of critically acclaimed debut collection, 'Elephant', a book of poetry meditating on Black British womanhood and life growing up in London and the founder and former editor of No Fly on the WALL, a platform centring the voices and experiences of Black British women and Black women living in the UK. Siana is the producer of '1500 & Counting', a documentary film investigating deaths in custody in the UK. At Africa Writes 2019, Siana speaks at Stepping Into Our Own, Saturday 6 July, 14:45-16:00.
Joanna BrownJoanna Brown is the Education Programme Manager at Africa Writes. After six years as a primary teacher in Haringey, specialising in Literacy and Reading Enrichment, she is now developing streams of work to support cultural organisations in their delivery of educational programmes. Prior to working in education, she co-ordinated community projects in the housing sector, with a focus on performing arts. Previously she worked as an events co-ordinator at the British Film Institute and the BBC. She is of Sierra Leonean and English descent. Joanna holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and trained to teach at the Institute of Education. At Africa Writes 2019, Joanna speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30 and Africa Writes Young Voices Education Surgery, Saturday 6 July, 11:15-12:45.
Margaret Busby OBEMargaret Busby OBE was born in Ghana and educated in Britain. She co-founded Allison & Busby, publishing C.L.R. James, Buchi Emecheta, Nuruddin Farah amongst many others, and became Director of Earthscan. She has judged literary awards, including the Caine, Baileys and Commonwealth prizes, served on the boards of PEN, Wasafiri and the Royal Literary Fund, and collected many honours including the 2015 Henry Swanzy Award. At Africa Writes 2019, Margaret speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30.
Kayo ChingonyiKayo Chingonyi's latest book, Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus, 2017) won the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. Kayo was a Burgess Fellow at the Centre for New Writing, University of Manchester, and an Associate Poet at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. He has been featured as a speaker or host at literary events around the world, edits poetry for The White Review, and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Durham University. At Africa Writes 2019 Kayo speaks at The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell, Saturday 6 July, 12:45-13:15.
Olivia DansoOlivia Danso is the project manager of BookTrust Represents. She has worked on community projects for the last ten years in the charity sector, as well as for local and state government in the UK and Australia. She also writes adult fiction under the pen name Maame Blue. At Africa Writes 2019 Olivia speaks at Meet the Publishers: YA Edition, Saturday 6 July, 14:00-15:15.
Michael DonkorMichael Donkor was born in London, to Ghanaian parents. He studied at English at Oxford and then undertook a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. In 2014, his writing won him a place on the Writers’ Centre Norwich Inspires Scheme. In 2018 he published his debut 'Hold' (4th Estate) and was named as one of the Observer’s New Faces of Fiction. This year he was shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. At Africa Writes 2019 Michael speaks at The Reading Salon, Sunday 7 July, 13:15-14:15.
Louisa Uchum EgbunikeLouisa Uchum Egbunike (PhD) is a lecturer in English at City, University of London. In 2016 she was selected as one of the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research council’s ‘New Generation Thinkers’. She is currently working on a multifaceted project, which includes curating a touring art exhibition and documentary film reflecting on the legacies of the Nigeria-Biafra war. Louisa is one of the conveners of the annual Igbo Conference. At Africa Writes 2019 Louisa speaks at Reimagining the Gods, Saturday 6 July, 15:30-16:45.
Inua EllamsBorn in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award winning poet, playwright & founder of the Midnight Run. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & Oberon. At Africa Writes 2019 Inua speaks at Reimagining the Gods, Saturday 6 July, 15:30-16:45.
Kalaf EpalangaKalaf Epalanga is a Writer and musician born in Angola and based in Berlin. He has published the books ‘Também os Brancos Sabem Dançar’
Bernadine EvaristoBernardine Evaristo is the British-Nigerian author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction. She is also a literary critic and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London. She has founded and co-founded many arts inclusion initiatives including Theatre of Black Women in the 1980s, Spread the Word in the 1990s, The Complete Works poetry scheme in the 2000s, and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2012. She is Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and an MBE. Her latest novel is Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin, 2019). At Africa Writes 2019, Bernadine speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30.
Aimée FeloneAimée Felone is co-founder of newly launched Knights Of – a commercial children’s publisher focused on hiring diversely and commissioning writers and illustrators from a diverse range of backgrounds. She is a supportive and engaged voice within the industry, and is commited to promoting inclusivity and diversity. At Africa Writes 2019 Aimée speaks at Meet the Publishers: YA Edition, Saturday 6 July, 14:00-15:15.
Caleb FemiCaleb Femi is a poet and director featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture. Using film, photography and music Caleb pushes the boundaries of poetry both on the page, in performance and on digital mediums. Between 2016-2018, Caleb was the Young People’s Laureate for London working with young people on a city, national and global level. At Africa Writes 2019 Caleb speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.
Muthoni GarlandMuthoni is a founder member of the writer’s collective, Storymoja, which publishes books for ages 4-16 years that can be purchased online at www.storymojaafrica.com Muthoni has authored over forty books for children and two novellas for adults, and runs online writing workshops. She is also a storyteller and has appeared on stage in several countries. Muthoni is the chief judge of the Morland Writing Scholarships. At Africa Writes 2019 Muthoni speaks at Literary Innovation in East Africa, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-12:15.
Meron HaderoMeron Hadero is an Ethiopian-American born in Addis Ababa who came to the U.S. as a refugee in her childhood via East and West Germany. Her stories appear in Best American Short Stories, McSweeney’s, Zyzzyva, The Iowa Review, and others. Her writing is also in The New York Times Book Review and the anthology The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, Ragdale, and MacDowell, and holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, a JD from Yale Law School (Washington State Bar), and a BA from Princeton in history. Meron is a recipient of a 2019-2020 Steinbeck Fellowship. At Africa Writes 2019 Meron speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
Mary HarperMary Harper is the Africa Editor at the BBC World Service. She has reported on Africa for the past twenty years, and has a special interest in Somalia. She reports frequently. She is the author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State (Zed Books) and Everything You Have Told Me Is True (Hurst 2019). Mary is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute and the Mogadishu-based Heritage Institute for Policy Studies. . At Africa Writes 2019 Mary speaks at Everything You Have Told Me Is True by Mary Harper, Sunday 7 July, 13:00-13:30.
Jessica HornJessica Horn is an African feminist writer, doer, interpreter of the ordinary. Jessica has worked for two decades to shape liberatory policy and practice around bodies, movements, funding and feminist futures in Africa and globally. Jessica’s poetry pamphlet Speaking in Tongues is included in the Mouthmark Book of Poetry. She is winner of the Fanny Ann Eddy Prize and the Sojourner Poetry Prize judged by June Jordan, and hosts The Love Mic. At Africa Writes 2019 Jessica speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30.
Sawad HussainSawad Hussain was coeditor of the Arabic-English portion of the seminal, award-winning Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014). She has regularly critiqued works for Arablit and Asymptote; reviewed Arabic literature and language textbooks for Al-’Arabiyya Journal (Georgetown University Press); and assessed Arabic works for English PEN grants. Her upcoming translations include Mama Hissa’s Mice by IPAF winner Saud Al Sanousi and a young adult Lebanese novel. At Africa Writes 2019 Sawad speaks at Africa in Translation: Translating Comic Strips, Sunday 7 July, 13:00-14:30.
Emmanuel IdumaEmmanuel Iduma's recent book, A Stranger’s Pose, was longlisted for the 2019 Ondaatje Prize. He is the author of The Sound of Things to Come, a novel, and co-editor of Gambit: Newer African Writing. He was associate curator of the Nigerian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, and received an arts writing grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts, New York. At Africa Writes 2019 Emmanuel speaks at Double Launch: Afropean by Johny Pitts & A Stranger’s Pose by Emmanuel Iduma, Saturday 6 July, 13:30-14:30.
Sandra Jackson-OpokuSandra Jackson-Opoku is author of novels The River Where Blood is Born and Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him). Her fiction, nonfiction and poetry appear in New Daughters of Africa, Ms. Magazine, Kweli and elsewhere. She coedited Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks. Jackson-Opoku has also won an NEA Fiction Fellowship, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines Fiction Award and other honors. At Africa Writes 2019 Sandra speaks at The Reading Salon, Sunday 7 July, 13:15-14:15.
Miss JacquiSpoken word artist and songwriter Miss Jacqui was thrust into the spotlight after a performance at the 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony. Also a wheelchair user, her music gives listeners a glimpse into what it means means to be black woman with a disability on a quest to be free from the perception of others. Having spend over 10 years in the poetry circuit under the mentorship of poetry legend Kat Francois, Jacqui wants her music to help her listeners see the world differently. Her upcoming debut EP “Perception” is a bold step in establishing herself and her disabled activism within walls of the music industry. At Africa Writes 2019 Miss Jacqui speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.
Amina JamaAmina Jama is a Somali-British writer. She was the Roundhouse & BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Words First London finalist, alumni of Barbican Young Poets, co-host of BoxedIN at Boxpark, Shoreditch, and Assistant Tutor for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Her work explores displacement, dual cultural identity and family. She has been published in The Things I Would Tell You, an Saqi Books anthology, and Rising Stars children’s anthology by Otter-Barry Books. She has been commissioned by the BBC, The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace, and the London Mayor’s Office. At Africa Writes 2019, Amina speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Cherrie KandieCherrie Kandie is a Kenyan writer and a senior at college in the United States of America. She also makes short films and enjoys dancing to Lingala (only in her room).. At Africa Writes 2019 Cherrie speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
Fatimah KelleherFatimah Kelleher is a Nigerian/Irish-British women’s rights adviser, and a writer/scribbler of verse. Engaged in feminist economic advocacy and research, she also writes on literature, and education. Her work is published by UNESCO, Feminist Africa, the Guardian, openDemocracy, and Wasafiri, among others. As a poet, Fatimah was founder of Urban Griots in 1997 and has performed globally. Her verse is found in anthologies/magazines including Sable Litmag. At Africa Writes 2019, Fatimah speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00 and Our Daughters' Fathers, Saturday 6 July, 11:15-12:30.
Peter KimaniPeter Kimani is a leading African author of his generation. He has published three novels, including Dance of the Jakaranda, a New York Times Notable Book of 2017. He has taught at Amherst College, the University of Houston and is presently on the faculty of the Graduate School of Media and Communications, Aga Khan University. Kimani is Chair of the judging panel of the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing. At Africa Writes 2019 Peter speaks at African Books to Inspire: Makings of Masculinity, Sunday 7 July, 13:30-14:45.
Sumayya LeeSumayya Lee was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. Her debut, The Story of Maha (Kwela, 2007) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book – Africa and Longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. She has been a judge for the Young Muslim Writers Awards and the annual Writivism Short Story Prize and currently serves as the Writivism Mentoring and Residencies coordinator. At Africa Writes 2019 Sumayya speaks at Literary Innovation in East Africa, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-12:15 and The Reading Salon, Sunday 7 July, 13:15-14:15.
Kinna LikimaniKinna Likimani is a Director at Odekro, a Parliamentary monitoring organization based in Ghana. She is the founder of Nsona Books which publishes fiction by writers in Ghana. She reviews books and discusses African literature on her blog, Kinna Reads. Prior to her return to Ghana, she worked for ten at Columbia University in the fields of medical informatics and technology transfer. She and her brood of boys live in Accra. At Africa Writes 2019 Kinna speaks at Interrogating the Text: Workshop for Book Reviewers and Critics, Saturday 6 July, 11:00-12:30 and African Books to Inspire: Makings of Masculinity, Sunday 7 July, 13:20-14:45.
Theresa LolaTheresa Lola is a British Nigerian Poet. She was joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her debut poetry collection ‘ In Search of Equilibrium’ was published by Nine Arches Press in February 2019 and described as ‘an extraordinary and exacting study on death and grieving.” She is an alumni of the Barbican Young Poets programme. At Africa Writes 2019 Theresa speaks at Our Daughters’ Fathers, Saturday 6 July, 11:15-12:30.
Rachel LongRachel Long is a poet & the founder of Octavia - Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour. Octavia are housed at the Southbank Centre, London. Rachel’s work has featured in Magma, The London Magazine, and Filigree: An Anthology of Contemporary Black British Poetry. She is co-tutor on the Barbican Young Poets Programme and Poetry Fellow of University of Hertfordshire. At Africa Writes 2019, Rachel speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Nick MakohaNick Makoha - His debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Best First Collection. The Guardian named it one of the best books of 2017. The 2019 Writer-in-Residence for The Wordsworth Trust and Wasafiri. Winner of The Brunel Poetry Prize and Toi Derricotte-Cornelius Eady Prize for Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in Poetry Review, New York Times, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. At Africa Writes 2019 Nick speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.
Jennifer Nansubuga MakumbiJennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, Kintu won the Kwani? Manuscript Project and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize. Her story, Let's Tell This Story Properly, won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Jennifer was awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction 2018 to support her writing. She lives in Manchester and teaches Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. At Africa Writes 2019 Jennifer speaks at Manchester Happened by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Saturday 6 July, 16:15-16:45.
Momtaza MehriMomtaza Mehri is a poet and essayist. She is the co-winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. Her work has been widely anthologised and has appeared in Granta, Artforum, Poetry International, BBC Radio 4, Vogue and Real Life Mag. She is the former Young People’s Laureate for London and a columnist-in-residence at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Open Space. Her chapbook sugah lump prayer was published in 2017. At Africa Writes 2019 Momtaza speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Yolande MukagasanaYolande Mukagasana is a renowned Rwandan writer, public figure and campaigner for remembrance of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. She authored four books about genocide and its aftermath, performed her testimony in the iconic Rwanda 94 theatre production and received numerous international prizes for her work. Her first book, La mort ne veut pas de moi, has been translated into Italian, Turkish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Hebrew and now English. At Africa Writes 2019 Yolande speaks at Not My Time To Die by Yolande Mukagasana, Sunday 7 July, 12:30-13:00.
Nadifa MohamedNadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa, Somalia in 1981 and studied History and Politics at St. Hilda's College, Oxford University. Her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, won the Betty Trask Prize, was long-listed for the Orange Prize, and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. In 2013 she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and in 2014 as one of Africa 39's Best of Young African Novelists. Her second novel, The Orchard of Lost Souls, was published in 2013 and won a Somerset Maugham Prize and the Prix Albert Bernard, and was long-listed for The Dylan Thomas Prize and short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2016 she was one of the 'finest and most creative novelists in fiction today' asked to contribute to the anthology, Reader, I Married Him, which was published to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë's birth. She writes regularly for The Guardian, The New York Times, Lithub, and Freeman's. Her work is translated into fourteen languages. She has just been announced as a 2018 recipient of an Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. At Africa Writes 2019 Nadifa speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30.
Zaahida Mariam NabagerekaZaahida Mariam Nabagereka is a doctoral researcher in African languages and cultures at SOAS, her research focuses on the politics of language and it's impact on literature production in Uganda. In 2014 Zaahida co-founded Afrikult., a literary organisation seeking to widen access to African literatures. Afrikult. devises and facilitates workshops with young people nationally and internationally. At Africa Writes 2019 Zaahida speaks at Manchester Happened by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Saturday 6 July, 16:15-16:45.
Sitawa NamwaliSitawa Namwalie is an award winning Kenyan poet, playwright and performer known for her unique dramatized poetry performances which combine poetry and traditional Kenyan music to create a feast for the senses. “Cut off My Tongue,” her first performance was performed at the Hay Festival 2009. At Africa Writes 2019 Sitawa speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00, Reimaging The Gods, Saturday 6 July, 15:30-16:45 and Literary Innovation in East Africa, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-12:15.
Ngwah-Mbo Nana NkwetiNgwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti is a Cameroonian-American writer and graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Ucross, Byrdcliffe, Kimbilio, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Clarion West, Hub City, the Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts. Nana’s writing has been published in journals and magazines such as Brittle Paper, New Orleans Review, and The Baffler, amongst others. Her forthcoming short story collection, Like Walking on Cowry Shells, focuses on the lives of hyphenated-Americans who share her multi-cultural heritage in the United States and Africa. At Africa Writes 2019 Ngwah-Mbo speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
JC NialaJC Niala is an award winning screen and stage writer whose work often sheds light on the lives of those at the margins of society. Her most recent film about urban refugees Wazi? FM has won several awards including an EU award for promoting peace and cultural understanding. She is currently the Community Manager for African Women Playwrights Network and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Warwick.At Africa Writes 2019, JC Niala speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Zoe NorridgeZoe Norridge is a Senior Lecturer in African and Comparative Literature at King’s College London, translator of Yolande Mukagasana’s Not My Time to Die and author of Perceiving Pain in African Literature. She researches cultural responses to the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, collaborates with Rwandan artists and genocide educators, appears on radio discussing the arts in Rwanda and is Chair of the Ishami Foundation. At Africa Writes 2019 Zoe speaks at Not My Time To Die by Yolande Mukagasana, Sunday 7 July, 12:30-13:00.
Okechukwu NzeluOkechukwu Nzelu is a writer and teacher. He was born in Manchester in 1988 and read English at Cambridge. His radio play Me and Alan was broadcast on Roundhouse Radio in 2013 and his essay 'Troubles with God' was published in Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space (Trapeze, 2019). He was the recipient of a New Writing North Award for The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, his debut novel, published by Dialogue Books (Little, Brown) in October 2019. At Africa Writes 2019 Okechukwu speaks at SAFE: Black British Men, Saturday 6 July, 12:15-13:30 and Stepping Into Our Own, Saturday 6 July, 14:45-16:00.
Chigozie ObiomaChigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, is winner of the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2015, as well as for several other prizes in the US and UK. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. At Africa Writes 2019 Chigozie speaks at Chigozie Obioma in Conversation, Sunday 7 July, 15:30-18:30.
Sarah OdedinaSarah Odedina has worked in children's publishing in the UK for over two decades. She has worked with big named authors like J K Rowling and Neil Gaiman as well as many debut authors at the launch of their careers. She is currently Editor-at-Large at Pushkin Children's Books as well as a partner in Accord Literary, an agency dedicated to finding and nurturing new authors writing for children who live in Africa. At Africa Writes 2019, Sarah speaks at Meet the Publishers: YA Edition, Saturday 6 July, 14:00-15:15.
Sylvia OfiliSylvia Ofili is a writer and teacher currently based in Stockholm. She was born in Lagos Nigeria of Nigerian/Hungarian parents and her writing has appeared in The Guardian Nigeria and Brittle Paper. She is also known as “the waffarian” and has been writing on her blog for over ten years. German Calendar No December is her first full length graphic novel which won the Rudolph Dirks International award 2018 for best scenario (Africa & Ocean). At Africa Writes 2019 Sylvia speaks at German Calendar, No December, Sunday 7 July, 12:15-12:45.
Tochukwu Emmanuel OkaforTochukwu Emmanuel Okafor is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in the 2018 Best of the Net, the 2019 Best Small Fictions, The Guardian, Harvard's Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. A 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist and a 2018 Kathy Fish Fellow, he has won the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. He has been shortlisted for the 2017 Awele Creative Trust Award, the 2016 Problem House Press Short Story Prize, and the 2016 Southern Pacific Review Short Story Prize. He lives in Pittsburgh, USA, and is at work on a novel and a short story collection. At Africa Writes 2019 Tochukwu speaks at 2019 Caine Prize Conversation, Saturday 6 July, 17:00-18:15.
Irenosen OkojieIrenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British author. Her books have won and been shortlisted for multiple awards. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Observer, The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Booker Prize winning author Ben Okri as a dynamic talent to watch and was recently inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. At Africa Writes 2019 Irenosen speaks at Chigozie Obioma in Conversation, Sunday 7 July, 15:30-18:30.
Chibundu OnuzoChibundu Onuzo (PhD) is the author of The Spider King's Daughter and Welcome to Lagos. She has been shortlisted for the Encore Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book Award and has won a Betty Trask Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS. At Africa Writes 2019, Chibundu speaks at Love and Sickle Cell in Stay with Me, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-11:45.
Chelle O.T.A poet, songwriter, actor and 1/3 of SISTREN podcast and movement, Chelle O.T. is a jack of many trades, with plenty more up their sleeve. (Making plantain chips disappear, being one) A Barbican Young Poet Alumni, their work explores familial dynamics, youth culture, identity and religion, from the perspective of an emo with a sunshine aura. At Africa Writes 2019 Chelle O.T. speaks at Stepping Into Our Own, Saturday 6 July, 14:45-16:00.
Idil OsmanDr Idil Osman is an academic, TV host and an expert on media, conflict, migration and development matters in Africa. She holds a PhD from the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University and has authored numerous publications that focus on media, conflict, development and migration. She's currently based in the Development Studies department at SOAS. At Africa Writes 2019 Idil speaks at Everything You Have Told Me Is True, Sunday 7 July, 13:00-13:30.
Derek OwusuDerek Owusu is a writer, poet and podcast producer. He discovered his passion for literature aged 23 - before then, he had never read a book cover-to-cover. It was a revelation that came too late, so instead of switching course, he snuck into English literature lectures at the University of Manchester. He was previously part of award winning Literature podcast Mostly Lit and is the executive producer of Penguin's This Is Spoke podcast. At Africa Writes 2019 Derek speaks at SAFE: Black British Men, Saturday 6 July, 12:15-13:30.
Sarah Ozo-IraborSarah Ozo-Irabor is the creative director of Books & Rhymes, a multimedia platform that specialises in the use of new media to engage in honest, insightful, and accessible discussions about literature and reading culture. She is the creator and host of Books & Rhymes, the podcast that invites readers to fall in love with reading with a musical twist on their favourite books. Sarah also documents literary culture on booksandrhymes.com. At Africa Writes 2019 Sarah speaks at Interrogating the Text: Workshop for Book Reviewers and Critics, Saturday 6 July, 11:00-12:30.
Robtel Neajai PaileyRobtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author. Her award-winning anti-corruption children’s books Gbagba and Jaadeh! were piloted in Liberia and adapted into multi-media tools including songs, music videos, a radio drama and full-length stage play with an all-child cast. An increasingly sought-after though leader and public scholar, Robtel has also published in academic journals, edited book volumes, magazines and newspapers. Visit www.gbagba-jaadeh.com for more information. At Africa Writes 2019 Robtel speaks at Jaadeh!, Saturday 6 July, 15:00-16:00.
Yovanka Paquete PerdigaoYovanka Paquete Perdigao is a Bissau-Guinean writer and editor. Her writing has been featured in The Guardian, AFREADA, Unbreakable Bounds, Bakwa. She is co-editor of Critical Muslim 30: West Africa and Politics of Return: South Sudan. Her writing has been shortlisted for Penguin WriteNow, City of Stories, and Miles Morland. She is also 1/3 of "Not Another Book Podcast" and a translator who works to champion Lusophone African stories. At Africa Writes 2019 Yovanka speaks at Angolan Literature 101, Saturday 6 July, 16:15-17:30.
Caitlin PearsonCaitlin Pearson is the Fundraising Manager at the Royal African Society, working on Trusts & Foundations, Public Funding, Impact Partnerships and Individual Membership. She also works on Africa Writes festival. Her background is in higher education and scholarship – she previously worked in communications and events at the Centre for African Studies, based at SOAS, and at the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust. Caitlin holds a BA from the University of Birmingham and an MA from SOAS, both in African Studies. Her research interests include film and television, representation, class and disability. In 2017, she led on expanding the reach of Africa Writes to other parts of England, as well as Wales and Scotland. At Africa Writes 2019 Caitlin speaks at Literary Innovation in East Africa, Sunday 7 July, 11:00-12:15 and The Reading Salon, Sunday 7 July, 13:15-14:15.
Johny PittsJohny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist. He has received various awards for his work exploring Afro-European identity, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) award. Johny founded and curates the online journal Afropean.com and is the author of Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (Allen Lane, 2019). At Africa Writes 2019 Johny speaks at Double Launch: Afropean by Johny Pitts & A Stranger’s Pose by Emmanuel Iduma, Saturday 6 July, 13:30-14:30.
Olumide PopoolaNigerian-German Olumide Popoola has published essays, poetry, short and long fiction, and a play. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and curated Berlin’s (Germany) inaugural international African Bookfest, Writing in Migration (2018). She is the creator and leader of the Arts Council funded scheme for emerging LGBTQ+ writers, ‘The Future is Back’. Her critically acclaimed novel When We Speak of Nothing was published by Cassava Republic Press in 2017. At Africa Writes 2019 Olumide speaks at Stepping Into Our Own, Saturday 6 July, 14:45-16:00.
Koleka PutumaKoleka Putuma is a poet and theatre practitioner who has taken the South African literary scene by storm with her debut collection of poems Collective Amnesia. Since its publication in 2017, the book is in its 9th print run and has been prescribed for study at tertiary level in South African Universities and Gothenburg University in Sweden. She is a 2018 Forbes Africa Under 30 Honoree and recipient of the 2018 Imbewu Trust Scribe Playwriting Award. At Africa Writes 2019 Koleka performs at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00 and speaks at Stepping Into Our Own, Saturday 6 July, 14:45-16:00.
Jasmine RichardsJasmine Richards has published over a dozen books for children and teenagers and has visited schools across the UK to run creative writing workshops. Her most recent novel Keeper of Myths was published by Harper Collins. Jasmine is also the founder of Storymix - a children’s fiction production company that creates inclusive stories. Storymix is actively seeking writers of colour: published, unpublished or self-published – get in touch! www.storymix.co.uk. At Africa Writes 2019, Jasmine speaks at Meet the Publishers: YA Edition, Saturday 6 July, 14:00-15:15.
Sheila RuizSheila Ruiz is the Royal African Society's Deputy Director, having formerly been the Society's Head of Programmes, Partnerships and Operations and Events Programme Manager. Prior to joining the RAS, Sheila was the Communications and Programming Consultant for the Africa Centre and previously worked as a freelance events producer for various arts projects in London. Sheila holds an MA in African Studies from SOAS and a BA in History from UCL. She is of mixed Spanish/Equato-Guinean heritage and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She tweets at @SheilaRuiz. At Africa Writes 2019 Sheila speaks at Afropean by Johny Pitts & A Stranger’s Pose by Emmanuel Iduma, Saturday 6 July, 13:30-14:30.
Namwali SerpellNamwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award for women writers in 2011 and was selected for the Africa 39, a 2014 Hay Festival project to identify the best African writers under 40. Her first published story, ‘Muzungu,’ was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African writing. She won the 2015 Caine Prize for her story ‘The Sack.’ The Old Drift is her first novel. At Africa Writes 2019 Namwali speaks at New Daughters of Africa, Saturday 6 July, 19:00-20:30, and The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell, Saturday 6 July, 12:45-13:15.
Yomi SodeYomi Sode is a Nigerian British writer, performer, facilitator and Complete Works Alumni. Shortlisted for the Jerwood Compton 2017 Poetry Fellowship, he has read at Lagos International Poetry Festival, Afrika Fest and New York Public Library. He has been published in The Rialto, Bare lit, 10: Poets of the New Generation and Tales of Two Londons. COAT, Yomi’s first one-man show, toured nationally and he is currently working is his first collection. At Africa Writes 2019 Yomi speaks at SAFE: Black British Men, Saturday 6 July, 12:15-13:30.
Ruth SutoyéRuth Sutoyé is a multidisciplinary artist & creative producer. She is a Roundhouse Resident Artist, Barbican Young Poet alumna & one of London's Boat Poets-in-Residence, supported by Arts Council England & Thames Festival Trust. Her work has featured in several platforms including Peepal Tree Press, Kabaka Magazine & Bad Betty Press. Sutoyé has performed across the UK & abroad, including Tate, St Paul's Cathedral & Lagos International Poetry Festival. . At Africa Writes 2019, Ruth speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30.
Véronique TadjoVéronique Tadjo is a writer, academic, artist and author of books for young people. Born in Paris, she grew up in Abidjan (Côte d´Ivoire). Her first children’s book was Lord of the Dance, an African retelling. Her second book, Mamy Wata and the Monster, won the Unicef Award in 1993 and has been published into 8 dual language editions. It is also on the list of the 100 Best African Books of the Century. She has also been a member of judging panels for several literary international prizes and has been a facilitator in creative writing workshops. At Africa Writes 2019 Véronique speaks at Not My Time To Die by Yolande Mukagasana, Sunday 7 July, 12:30-13:00.
Keisha ThompsonKeisha Thompson is a Manchester-based writer, performance artist and producer. She is currently touring award-winning solo show, Man on the Moon. Her debut book, Lunar, features her poetry in addition to the show script. She is also the Young People’s Producer at Contact, chair of radical arts funding body, Future Ventures’ Fund, part of Greater Manchester Cultural & Heritage Group and the Leaders of Tomorrow scheme led by ITC and RTYDS. At Africa Writes 2019 Keisha speaks at Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase, Friday 5 July, 14:00-16:30, Our Daughters’ Fathers, 11:15-12:30, Poetry and Mathematics: Workshop for Young Adults, Saturday 6 July, 14:15-15:45.
Marion WallaceDr Marion Wallace is Lead Curator, Africa at the British Library. She is a member of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa), sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Southern African Studies, and has previously worked at the UK National Archives. Marion co-curated the British Library’s major exhibition on West Africa (2015–2016), and publishes on subjects including the history of Namibia, West African themes, and the impact of digitisation on African Studies. www.bl.uk/people/experts/marion-wallace. At Africa Writes 2019 Marion speaks at Reimagining the Gods, Saturday 6 July, 15:30-16:45.
Alex Wheatle MBEAward-winning writer Alex Wheatle has written eleven novels including Brixton Rock, East of Acre Lane, Island Songs, Crongton Knights & Home Girl. At Africa Writes 2019 Alex speaks at SAFE: Black British Men, Saturday 6 July, 12:15-13:30.
Samantha WilliamsSamantha is Founder of Book Love, an award-winning Travelling Multicultural Book Carnival. This grassroots, independent collective of Educators, Artists, Musicians, Aunties, Uncles, Parents & Grandparents was set up in 2014 to raise awareness around the stark lack of culturally inclusive representation. Giving under-represented creatives an exciting platform to show their content is key, taking it into schools, markets& pop ups in Brixton, Tottenham & further afield. At Africa Writes 2019 Samantha speaks at Storytime with Book Love, Saturday 6 July, 13:00-14:00.
Nariman YoussefNariman Youssef is a translator working in English and Arabic. Her translations include Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter, Donia Kamal's Cigarette No. 7, comic excerpts for Words Without Borders, poetry for The Hundred Years' War and Beirut39 anthologies, and lyrics for Palestine Underground, a Boiler Room documentary. She manages a translation team at the British Library. She is author of Tahrir - 18 Days of Grace (Summer of Unrest series). At Africa Writes 2019 Nariman speaks at Africa in Translation: Translating Comic Strips, Sunday 7 July, 13:00-14:30.
Belinda ZhawiBelinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean born writer, sound artist & educator currently based in London. Her work explores Afro-diasporic research & narratives; how art & education can be used as intersectional tools. She was the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet, is the 2019 Serpentine Gallery Schools Artist-in-Residence & co-founder of literary arts platform, BORN::FREE. Belinda is the author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018). At Africa Writes 2019 Belinda speaks at Our Bodies Speak Poetry, Friday 5 July, 19:00-21:00.