For the April/May edition of the Ebedi International Writers Residency, four artists, including a photographer and three writers have arrived Iseyin. They include Howard Meh-Buh Maximus, a Cameroonian, and three Nigerians: Rasaq Malik Gbolahan, Nseabasi Akpan and Bello Muhammad Bello.
Established in September 2010, the Ebedi international writer’s residency seeks to provide a conducive space for writers wishing to complete their works in progress at no cost to the writers. The Residency is a private initiative which offers a 6-week full board facility and has since its establishment hosted about 120 writers from 10 African countries, many of whom have won several local and international literary prizes. The Residents who are expected to mentor secondary school students in Iseyin as part of their community service during their stay also have a publishing opportunity with a Lagos based Publisher, Literamed Publishers.
Rasaq Malik Gbolahan is a graduate of the University of Ibadan. A Poet who hails from Ibadan, Rasaq was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2017. He is one of the six nominees of the Poet Lore Pushcart Prize. His works have appeared in various journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Spillway and Sentinel among others. He is the author of the chapbook, “No Home in This Land”, which is edited by Professors Chris Abani and Kwame Dawes and will be published in the USA later this year. Rasaq whose attention to culture and folklore is remarkable is a young Nigerian Author who is expected to break the ceiling in the coming years. He hopes to use his time at the Ebedi Residency to complete work on his next Poetry Collection and mentor Iseyin students in the art of performance poetry.
Howard Meh-Buh Maximus is a Cameroonian writer whose works have been published on magazines including The Africa Report, Catapult, Bakwa Magazine, Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review, Aerodrome, and so on; and anthologies such as Selves, Limbe to Lagos, Of Passion and Ink, and more. He was one of the participants of the Literary Exchange Program for Creative Nonfiction, organized by Goethe-Institut Nigeria, Goethe-Institut Cameroon, Bakwa Magazine, and Saraba Magazine in May and November 2017. He was also a participant of the Afro Young Adult fiction workshop 2019. In 2016, he was on the long-list of the Bakwa Short Story Competition. He was shortlisted for the Miles Morland scholarship in 2018 and is currently working on his novel. He holds an MSc in Biotechnology from the North South University, Dhaka Bangladesh and currently runs a PhD program in Microbiology at the University of Buea Cameroon. He is a staff writer for Bakwa magazine.
During his time at Ebedi, he would work on his debut novel and also teach the secondary school students in Iseyin creative nonfiction and basic French.
Bello Muhammad Bello from Zaria, Kaduna State is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. as well as Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee USA. In 2013, he represented the University of the District of Columbia at a Conference for Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Bello who is fluent in Arabic, English, Hausa and Yoruba is the author of Small World Golden Words: 234 Axioms and Aphorisms, a book of original thoughts and observations. Apart from working to develop another manuscript of aphorisms and poems, Bello would use his time in Ebedi to engage secondary school students in Iseyin in the area of thinking and writing aphoristically.
Nseabasi Akpan is a freelance photographer using photography as a medium of expression and communication for positive social change. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Nseabasi Photography Concept a community-based organization using photography and its artistic process as a catalyst to empower vulnerable children and youths. Nseabasi is a recipient of the 2016 Fearlessly Inspirational Photography Award, 2014, the One World Media Prize, The eLearning Africa Photo Competition Public Vote Prize and The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Photography Competition 3rd Place Prize. 2011, the European Union/African Union Photography Prize and 2010, the BBC Focus on Africa Photo Essay Prize. His works have been published by Jeune Afrique, Tru Applause, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine, Insidetrack Abuja, Derive and The Platform. And his works have been shown in art exhibitions at The Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, San Antonio, Texas, United State of America. Alliance Française Banjul, The Gambia. Amnesty International Lome, Togo. The Government Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Freetown, Serria Leone. St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, United State of Americas. Goethe Institut, Lagos Nigeria. Regard Biennale Benin, Cotonou, The Republic of Benin. 11th Aleppo International Photography Festival-Aleppo, Syria. African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Institute of African Studies University of Ibadan. The Decumanus Gallery, Krk, Croatia. The French Cultural Center, Ethiopia. Alliance Française Banjul, Ibadan, Nigeria and The French Cultural Center, Accra, Ghana. He was a speaker at the 2018 Fearless Photographers conference in Split, Croatia. After the success of his photography road trip from Ibadan, Nigeria to Banjul, in the Gambia. He travelled by road to the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and the Gambia. Later this year Nseabasi will be embarking on another photography Road Trip from Ibadan, Nigeria to Tanzania. making several stops in some major cities in Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to collaborate with NGOs, youth centres and local artist to organize workshops, photo walk, artist talk and exhibition. He will spend his time at The Ebedi International Writers Residency to prepare for his next road trip and also, update his photography of rural life as well as mentor Iseyin students in the art of photography.
Interested in applying for the next edition of the Ebedi Hills Writers Residency Program? Here are the submissions guidelines as they were in 2013 when I attended. I don’t know if anything has changed since then.
Guidelines for applying for the Ebedi Hills Residency Program
- Send an e-mail of sample works (10 pages of Fiction, Non-fiction or
- 2 reference letters
- A cover letter introducing yourself and stating the work you intend to undertake at Ebedi.
- Send to firstname.lastname@example.org