is me! I've just been named the 2009 Guest Writer at the Nordic Africa Institute
. I'll be in residence at the Institute, in Uppsala, Sweden, from April to June 2009.
The programme has previously hosted two guest writers, Ama Ata Aidoo from Ghana (one of my writing heros!), and Gabeba Baderoon from South Africa. Nigerian writer, Tolu Ogunlesi, is 2008's Guest Writer.
NAI is really an institute for research in the social sciences. The raison d'être behind the guest writer grant
is:the conviction that knowledge of Africa is not gained only from social science analysis and facts. Literature and the arts can significantly add another language and meaning, and illustrate the diversity of the continent. The purpose of the grant is three-fold:
Firstly, to provide an opportunity to sit and write, away from daily chores (YESSS!!!) teaching or other (the Nordic Africa Institute is also not a teaching institution);
Secondly, to make possible readings to audiences in Sweden, and one or two other Nordic countries by visits to those countries;
Thirdly, to add by their presence to the intellectual and cultural atmosphere of the Nordic Africa Institute with its researchers and other staff, guests, guest researchers and scholarship students.