Three young and dynamic Nigerian Writers last week arrived at the Ebedi International Writer’s Residency, Iseyin, Oyo State for the July/August 2014 session of the Residency. The writers who have already commenced their six-week-residency are: Obina Udenwe, Paul Liam and Koko Okokoh.
Obinna Udenwe is a 26-year-old writer of conspiracy theories who was honoured by his native Ebonyi State for his outstanding literary activities on May 29, 2014. As the Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi put it during the award ceremony, ‘Obinna Udenwe’s impressively meticulous literary documentation places him ahead of his contemporaries.’  Udenwe’s first novel ‘The Dancing Bird’ was published in 2009 while  ‘Satans and Shaitans’ – a conspiracy theory on terrorism, love and occult, is scheduled to be released in the UK in October, 2014 by Jacaranda Books. Udenwe will use his time at the Ebedi Residency, to complete work on his new novel ‘Viaticum’ – a novel set against the backdrop of the civil war in Sudan, and the period of pre-democracy and democracy in Nigeria. In his reaction to Udenwa’s admission into Ebedi Residency, Mr Jazzmine Breary, the Acquisition manager of Jacaranda Books, UK, was full of praise for the management of Ebedi Residency for accepting the company’s author for the residency.
The second writer, Paul Liam, an indigene of Benue State, is the Assistant Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Niger State Chapter. He is also a columnist with Newsline Newspapers, Minna and has published several literary essays in national dailies. His debut poetry collection: ‘Indefinite Cravings’ was published in 2012. His second poetry collection: ‘Saint Sha’ Ade And Other Poems’ was recently released by Kraft Books. Paul will use his time at Ebedi, to complete a manuscript of poetry titled ‘Armageddon Blues’. According to Paul, ‘Armageddon is a collection of about sixty-something poems inspired by the chaos that have engulfed the nation, and I have been working on it since 2012. But, I have not been able to concentrate and finish it due to several distractions.’ Paul will also use his stay in Iseyin to conduct a creative writing workshop for school children and probably generate an anthology of poems from the workshop. As he puts it, ‘I have great passion in the development of the intellectual capacities of the younger ones for a productive society. It is because of this passion that I am a Mentor and the Public Relations Manager of the Hilltoparts Centre, Minna, Niger State.’
Karo Okokoh, the third author, is a published author with several titles in poetry and drama. He is an alumnus of the University of Ibadan where he bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.  He is based in Agbarho, Warri, Delta State. Okokoh hopes to use his time at Ebedi to complete work on his new novel titled “The Forgotten Tomorrow’’ a novel based on the well known problem of oil spillage in the Niger Delta Region. It is a problem which the author describes as ‘a brutally big and mournfully monotonous cycle of violence in the Niger Delta… a cycle of violence that is continually being re-cycled again and again… a familiar pattern of recurring violence and recurring sadness.’
 Apart from working on their manuscripts and mentoring Secondary Students in Iseyin, the residents will also use the period of their stay in Ebedi to edit and publish the maiden edition of THE EBEDI REVIEW. As the writers expressed, ‘The need for the Ebedi Reviewwas conceived out of the dire need to provide a comprehensive information resource on the Ebedi International Writers Residency, Iseyin. The primary objective is to provide a channel of communication between the residency and the outside world in order to accentuate its relevance. The Review, therefore, seeks to articulate the activities of the residency since its inception and provide an overview of its existence to those who may have not had the privilege of knowing about it or visiting it.’ The Ebedi International Residency Programme is a private initiative for the benefit of writers who want to complete their ongoing works in a secluded and comfortable environment. In its fourth year of existence, the residency which is managed by a Board of Directors has played host to about 40 international writers and is run at no cost to the writers.
Uche Peter Umez
F: Ebedi Board of Directors

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