By Tolulope Oke

Renowned writer, Chimamanda Adichie, has concluded plans to host the 2019 edition of Purple Hibiscus Writing Workshop in Lagos for young Nigerian writers.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The celebrated writer, who said this in a statement, noted that of the thousands, who applied for the programme, 20 were selected.

In addition, she indentified five writers, who emerged at a previous workshop, as promising voices in Nigerian fiction.

Those listed are Chukwuebuka Ibeh, Adachioma Ezeano, Roy Udeh-Ubaka, Ope Adedeji, and Ngozi John.

According to Chimamanda: “Every year, I organise a writing workshop, Purple Hibiscus Writing Workshop in Lagos.

“ Thousands of people apply, many of them talented. But we have room for only twenty. In choosing the twenty, I look not only for good writing but also for courage and for what I like to call heart.

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We spend ten days in a small hotel, around a large table, talking and laughing, reading stories from laptops and phone screens. We disagree and agree. We argue and explain. We talk about popular culture and politics.

We break for lunch in the hotel restaurant, and pile our plates with rice and yams and plantains and vegetables. We take pictures. I ask about the poets they like and I ask about their love lives. We become, even if only briefly, a family.

“This year, the tenth of the workshop, my friend Dave Eggers was kind enough to come and co-teach and to give these young writers a chance to have their first major publication. I love the confidence, the clear-eyed honesty, and the beauty, of these stories.

“In the early 1960s, with European colonialism ending all over Africa, Nigeria was at the center of a new African literary renaissance. But cultural production dipped with the military dictatorships of the 1990s, when little fiction was published. Today there is another renaissance, and it feels to me more resilient, more diverse, and with less of an obligation to overt politics. The young writers I have met at my workshops—like Ope, Roy, Adachioma, Chukwuebuka, and Ngozi, make it clear that our storytellers are here to stay.”


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