Nigerian author, Ben Okri is one of Africa’s most prolific and celebrated authors with a writing career that dates back more than thirty years. He is best known for two of his books – Incidents at the Shrine, which won the 1987 Commonwealth Writers Prize, Africa region for Best Book, and The Famished Road, which won the 1991 Booker Prize for Fiction.
Professor George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation, which is based in Washington DC, USA. Dr. Ayittey is, perhaps, better known for his international activism than for his academic work. He has long argued that “Africa is poor because she is not free”.
Born in Gombe State, Nigeria, Helon Habila has been referred to by some as the new Wole Soyinka of Nigeria. Like Soyinka, Habila is both a poet and prose-writer, who has achieved international recognition in both genres.
Born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia, Nurrudin Farah is recognized as one of Africa’s most influential authors. Farah grew up in Kallafo, in the Somali-speaking Ogaden region of Ethiopia.
Since her first book came out in 1996, Goretti Kyomuhendo has emerged as one of the foremost female writers from Uganda. “Secrets no More”, her second book which came out in 1999, won first prize from the National Book Trust of Uganda the same year.
When he was six years old, Galgut was diagnosed with cancer, a trauma which he has described as “the central, cataclysmic event of my life”. He fell very ill, and spent long stretches of his childhood in hospital. His love of storytelling developed at this time as he lay convalescing in his hospital bed, listening to relatives reading stories to him.
Born in 1964 in Nigeria,Sefi Atta grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she attended Queen’s College from 1974 to 1978, before moving to boarding school in England. She graduated with a business degree from Birmingham University in 1985 and trained as an accountant in London from 1988 to 1991.
Born in 1934 at Abeokuta, near Ibadan in western Nigeria, Wole Soyinka attended school first in Nigeria and later in the United Kingdom, where he spent several years, working at the Royal Court Theatre in London. He returned to Nigeria in 1960, where for many years he has taught drama and literature at various universities.
Gordimer published her first story at the age of thirteen. In 1951, her short story “A Watcher of the Dead” was accepted by the New Yorker, opening her work to an international audience. Her first novel, “The Lying Days” came out in 1953, and she has gone on to enjoy a productive career, writing over 25 works…
Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a Ghanaian writer and poet who divides his time between his native Ghana and the United Kingdom. He writes in English, French and his native Ga. His first book, Tail of the Blue Bird came out in 2009 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.