The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) in partnership with Mbaasem Foundation is pleased to announce a special one-day writers’ master class led by Yewande Omotoso with special guest Ama Ata Aidoo.
This event will take place in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday 8th March 2014.
Women writers wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should send a short bio and a sample story or article to [email protected] by Friday 21st February. Successful applicants will be notified by 28th February.
Photography by Tolu Talabi
Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992.
Yewande trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a Masters degree in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel ‘Bomboy’ published in 2011 by Cape Town publisher Modjaji Books. ‘Bomboy’ was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards as well as the MNet Film Award, it won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for First Time Author Prize. Prior to ‘Bomboy’ Yewande authored several stories, among them ‘The Piano’ (2nd Place, People Opposing Women Abuse, 2005) and ‘Maude Hastings’ (Honourable Mention, John La Rose Short Story Competition, 2007). In addition she has published ‘Heroes’ with online crime fiction magazine ‘Noir Nation’ and ‘Two Old People’ in the anthology ‘Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa’. Yewande’s poetry (‘Stranger’ and ‘The Rain’) has been published in the ‘Baobab Literary Journal’ 2009. ‘The Rain’ was shortlisted for the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Awards 2012.
Omotoso, for whom writing is a means to make sense of the world, is interested in the complexity of human experiences as well as the incongruities of life. Loneliness is a recurring theme. Omotoso views her writing as a tool for compassion and evoking self-examination. For her talent and the intent to tell stories, she credits her parents and a childhood steeped in reading and the sharing of ideas.
Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo with Nneka at AWDF house
Ama Ata Aidoo’s literary career dates from when, as an undergraduate, she wrote her first play, The Dilemma Of A Ghost (1964), which was subsequently produced and published. She followed that up with Anowa (drama 1970). Since then, she has published novels, including Changes (1991), volumes of poetry and short stories including An Angry Letter In January & Other Poems (1992) and The Girl Who Can & Other Stories (1997). Her third collection of short stories; Diplomatic Pounds & Other Stories and a book of essays in her honour titled: Essays in Honour of Ama Ata Aidoo at 70: A Reader in African Cultural Studies edited by Anne V. Adams were published in March 2012 by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited, UK.
She also edited the widely-acclaimed, African Love Stories Anthology, (Ayebia, Oxfordshire, UK, 2006) the Anthology has won two literary prizes – one of the stories “Jambula Tree” by Monica Arac de Nyeko won The Caine Prize for African Writing (2007) and the ASA US Aidoo/Synder Prize for ‘The Best Creative Work on Women’ in 2008. Her books for children include Birds & Other Poems (2002) and The Days (2010). She has taught at colleges and universities in Ghana and the United States including the University of Cape Coast and Brown University. Aidoo’s many awards include the Nelson Mandela Prize for Poetry in 1987 for Someone Talking to Sometime and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Changes in 1992.