Western Africa

Sabah Sanhouri

Given name first
Family name: 
Sanhouri
Given name: 
Sabah
Female
Regions and Countries: 
English
Arabic
Sudan

Sabah SANHOURI (fiction writer; Sudan) is a freelance journalist. Her story "The Isolation" won the El-Tayeb Saleh competition for Youth Short Story Writers and has been made into a short film; it was published by Words Without Borders, and appeared in French and Arabic translations. A story collection, [Mirrors], came out in Egypt and Sudan earlier this year. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S Department of State.

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OKOLO, Ruth

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Family name: 
OKOLO
Given name: 
Ruth
Female
Regions and Countries: 
English

Amara Nicole OKOLO (fiction writer, non-fiction writer; Nigeria) is the author of the novel Black Sparkle Romance (2014) and the story collection Son of Man (2016). A participant in Chimamanda Adichie’s Farafina Creative Writing Workshop (2015) and the Invisible Borders TransAfrican Project (2017), she often speaks at book events and festivals. She is also a practicing lawyer. Her participation was made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S.

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Gimba KAKANDA

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Family name: 
KAKANDA
Given name: 
Gimba
Male
Regions and Countries: 
English

Gimba KAKANDA (fiction writer, poet, journalist; Nigeria) published a first volume of poetry, Safari Pants, in 2010; his other work has been anthologized. He is an editor at the Daily Nigerian, a daily committed to promoting transparency in governance, and maintains a weekly column in other periodicals concerned with social issues. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

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TIDJANI ALOU

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Family name: 
TIDJANI ALOU
Given name: 
Antoinette
Female
Regions and Countries: 
English

Antoinette TIDJANI ALOU (fiction writer, poet, translator, scholar; Niger) teaches literature and directs the Program of Performing Arts at Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. She has been the president of the International Society for Oral Literatures of Africa, and a collaborator on the “Women Writing Africa” project. Her first work, On m’appelle Nina, retraces the exilic experiences of a woman who leaves Jamaica for France, then Niger. A short story collection, a volume of poetry and a memoir are forthcoming.

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Obari GOMBA

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Family name: 
GOMBA
Given name: 
Obari
Male
Regions and Countries: 
English

Obari GOMBA (poet, playwright; Nigeria) teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, and has facilitated writing workshops for the 2014 UNESCO World Book Capital. In 2013 his  volume Length of Eyes was longlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature; the most recent of his three poetry collections, Thunder Protocol, appeared in 2015. He writes on issues of class, justice, and culture. He participates courtesy of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos.

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Ukamaka OLISAKWE

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Family name: 
OLISAKWE
Given name: 
Ukamaka
Female
Regions and Countries: 
English

Ukamaka OLISAKWE (screenwriter, novelist, nonfiction writer; Nigeria) writes TV scripts (most recently the series “The Calabash”), essays, short stories, and has one novel. Selected in 2014 by the Africa39 Project as one of the continent’s 39 most promising writers under the age of 40, she has had her work appear in the New York Times. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Anas ATAKORA

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Family name: 
ATAKORA
Given name: 
Anas
Male
Regions and Countries: 
French
Togo

Anas ATAKORA (poet, fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Togo), currently a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University in Canada, has had his third poetry collection, En attendant le poème, appear in early 2015. The upcoming Tante Béa will be his first short story collection. In 2008, Atakora received the ‘Plumes émergentes’ award from the University of Lomé. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Samuel KOLAWOLE

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Family name: 
KOLAWOLE
Given name: 
Samuel
Male
Regions and Countries: 
English
Nigeria

Samuel KOLAWOLE (fiction and nonfiction writer; Nigeria) is the author of the story collection The Book of M (2011), and other stories, widely anthologized. He has had grants and fellowships from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, the Norman Mailer Centre and the Edward F. Albee Foundation, among others. Currently working on his second book, he directs a writing school in Ibadan. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Mamle Kabu

Photo credit: 
Ake Arts and Book Festival
Given name first
Family name: 
Kabu
Given name: 
Mamle
Female
Regions and Countries: 
English
Ghana

Mamle KABU (fiction writer; Ghana) is the author of the young adult novel The Kaya-Girl (2012), and is currently working on her first novel. Her stories, which include “The End of Skill” (shortlisted for the 2009 Caine Prize), "Human Mathematics” and "Story of Faith" have been anthologized across Africa, the U.S. and the UK.  She is the associate director of the Writers Project of Ghana. Her participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

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Corinne N’Guessan

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Family name: 
N’Guessan
Given name: 
Corinne
Female
Regions and Countries: 
French
Cote d'Ivoire

Corinne N’GUESSAN (fiction writer; Cote D’Ivoire) is a bank manager in Abidjan. Her first novel Les vierges folles [The Mad Virgins] appeared earlier this year. She participates courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan.

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