The mentorship programme is a key component of the project. Below are our eight fantastic mentors!
- Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer and holder of a PhD from Lancaster University. Her novel, Kintu, which won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013, was published in 2014 before being longlisted for the Etisalat Prize. Jennifer’s short story, Let’s Tell This Story Properly won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2014. In 2015 she won an Arts Council Grant to research her second novel, The First Woman was Fish. Her short story Malik’s Door came out in October 2015 in Closure, an anthology of Black British writing.
- The poet Nick Makoha has been shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection for his debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni and winner of the 2015 Brunel African Poetry prize as well as the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize in 2016 for his manuscript Resurrection Man. His poems have appeared in The Poetry Review, The Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. He is a Creative Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Goldsmiths, University of London, working on an online digital archive of the Metic experiences of Black British Writers.
- Melissa Kiguwa is a writer whose background spans three continents: the United States, Europe, and Africa. She has worked as a producer and radio and television host for both commercial and broadcast radio including the BBC World Service. Kiguwa is also building a reputation as one of the best emerging writing talents from the African continent. Her first collection of poetry, Reveries of Longing, was published in 2014 and selected as one of This is Africa’s 100 best books. She is currently working on her second poetry collection, To Write Haikus about Your Lips after Boko Haram is Barbaric.
- Ayeta Anne Wangusa is a published writer and a capacity development specialist, with expertise in cultural mainstreaming. She is the Executive Director of Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), a creative think tank in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. CDEA hosts a Pan-African Writers Lounge with a focus on providing a platform for visiting writers to attend writing workshops and hold public conversations and readings in Dar es Salaam. Wangusa served as East Africa’s representative on the Commonwealth Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) from 2009-2012 and advised the Commonwealth Foundation on its programming work on Culture, Gender and Governance and Democracy.
- Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa is a Ugandan-South African poet, storyteller, coach and facilitator. She is the youngest daughter of Ugandan poet and civil servant, the late Henry Barlow. Her poems draw images of growing up in Uganda in the 1960s and 1970s and afterwards as an immigrant in various parts of Africa – touching on both the personal and political. Having lived in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa, Namutebi often wrestles with the question of identity and belonging. She lives in Cape Town with her husband, Victor, and 3 children – Faye, Senteza and Chris.
- Beatrice Lamwaka is the founder and director of Arts Therapy Initiative, a non-profit organisation that provides psychological and emotional support through creative arts therapies. Her collection of short stories, Butterfly Dreams, was launched recently and she is currently writing her first novel. Lamwaka is a recipient of the 2011 Young Achievers Award, was shortlisted for the 2015 Morland Writing Scholarship and the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing, and was a finalist for the 2009 South African PEN/Studzinski Literary Award. The anthology of short stories, Queer Africa (2013), to which she contributed, won the 26th Lambda Literary Award in 2014.
- Angela Kintu Rwabose is a Ugandan journalist, writer and editor. She is also a blogger, and has maintained regular columns in publications in Uganda and Kenya. She worked extensively with Vision Group as a writer, columnist, copy editor and radio executive producer and currently edits the Madhvani Group Magazine. She also mentors and trains journalists with the African Centre for Media Excellence. Angela has ghost-written three books by Ugandans and says she is always too immersed in other people’s stories to think of recounting her own.
- Lillian Akampurira Aujo is a poet and fiction writer based in Kampala, Uganda. She is the winner of the BN Poetry Award 2009 and The Jalada Prize for Literature 2015. She is also an Ebedi fellow. Her work has been featured online in Prairie Schooner, The Revelator, Sooo Many Stories, Bakwa Magazine, the anthology Your Heart Will Skip a Beat and Jalada’s Afrofuture Anthology. She has been featured in print in the Femrite anthologies Summoning the Rains and Talking Tales, and in the BN Publication A Thousand Voices Rising. Her work, A Memory This Size, also appears in the Jalada 05/Transition 123 issue.