Olawale Ibiyemi is a young poet, and a graduate of Babcock University, Nigeria. He lives in Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. The major themes in his poems include death, love, abuse and mental illness.
His goal of writing is first; to ease internal turmoil and also to shed light on the struggles of mental health patients in Nigeria. Therefore, his poems are often of a confessional nature, taking after the likes of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Another goal that Olawale has for his writings is, being a voice against the oppression of women, bigotry, tribalism and cultural decadence.
Olawale Ibiyemi has won some local poetry competitions. His poem was shortlisted for the Ken Egba Prize for Festival Poetry 2017. His poems have appeared in the anthology These Words Will Cure a Dead Man by Sprinng Literary Movement 2016, 7th issue of the PIN Quarterly Journal 2017, Words, Rhymes & Rhythms website and on other prestigious Nigerian Literary websites. Some of his poems will also appear in the Best New African Poets 2017 Anthology that will be published in 2018.
Olawale also writes non-fiction and can only be kidnapped with a cup of ice-cream; chocolate flavour.
“The programme is a noble idea. The communication and planning is highly commendable… The programme helped me break new grounds in my writing. It helped me see the non-fiction genre through the lenses of the mentor; an ecstatic experience.
Rofiat Alli has a first degree in Accounting from Crescent University, Abeokuta, and a second degree in Forensic Accounting from the University of Portsmouth, England. She is a writer who enjoys exploring the varying facets of romance; love gone wrong, love lost, love with/without a happy ending. She also writes on themes of faith and hope.
Her goal is to tell stories that resonate with other people by projecting vulnerabilities, failings, expectations, desires and hopes through her writings, so that her readers will find themselves in her characters.
Rofiat Alli is a blogger and her works have been published on Naijastories.
“Through the Sprinng Literary Movement January 2018 Mentorship Programme, I became aware of a lot more literary terms than I could have imagined to learn on my own. This opportunity also enabled me explore other areas of literature, such as poetry analysis, which I had never given much of a thought to. In doing this, I gained some insight into how readers might see my own poems when I write and the things that they may choose to pay more attention to.
Chukwunwike Obi is a penultimate year Law Student at the University of Ibadan and he is the pioneer of Friends in Poetry. The themes on which he writes are: God, hope and the society. Chukwunwike is also a spoken word artist and he has won some awards. His hobbies are writing, reading, singing, acting and playing musical instruments. He is currently working on his poetry collection which is set for publication in 2018.
“My mentor, Kehinde Badiru is a very considerate and altruistic person. Once, I was unable to submit my task due to network issues. He identified with my situation and offered the help he could. He also gave me some invaluable tips for a Spoken Word Performance which I participated in during the mentorship programme. He is highly experienced. He is a writer I would always admire.
Rachael Wanogho is a short story writer, a poet and a blogger. On her blog, she enjoys discussing fashion, issues relating to life and living, and human emotions through stories. Rachael has had several work experiences in script writing. While at the University of Benin where she majored in Mass Communication and Media Studies, she handled script writing tasks for radio, television, film and documentary productions that were used during live interviews, talk shows, speeches and as drama scripts. She also directed a movie titled “Wolves in Sheep's Clothing”.
In 2013, she interned at Vibes 97.3, and she scripted a radio drama series in Nigerian Pidgin titled ‘MAMA PUT,’ one that received a number of positive feedbacks.
In 2014, Rachael worked with Flies Magazine as an Editorial Secretary and was responsible for transcription of interviews and collating articles for publication.
Recently, she attended a networking event titled; The African Writers Meet organised by an organization called The African Writers in Nigeria. Through this networking event, she had the opportunity to be mentored by Adedoyin Jaiyesimi, Tunde Leye, Elsie Godwin, and Olumide Holloway. In January 2018, Rachael also participated in the first cohort of the Sprinng Literary Movement Mentorship Programme and she was mentored by Oyindamola Shoola.
Her goal for writing is to use words to change the perspective of readers all over the world.
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“My mentor Oyindamola Shoola gave her all to this programme. She called, was very patient with me and took her time to explain the stories she edited and revised. I couldn't have asked for a better mentor. With her, I wasn't looking forward to the end of the mentorship programme. I looked forward to every feedback. She explained so well that even when I didn't have questions, I had to conjure questions just so she could keep on speaking. It was truly a phenomenal experience for me.
Alozie Evans Ugochukwu is a poet and a freelance writer who was born in the city of Jos. He studied Biochemistry in his undergraduate education and he is currently running a Master’s degree in Biochemistry. His preferred genre of writing is prose. The core of Alozie’s writing is to portray that “friendship is life.” With his writing, he desires to portray a peaceful and God-loving society. In his free time, Alozie loves to work with youths.
“Any well thought out program raises expectation from the applicant. It began from the well spelt requirements on the programme's application and the importance was raised when I was called to follow up on the emails after I was picked as a mentee. Then the whole two weeks went on to wow my mind. This was a well thought program with expectations which it definitely met.
Uguru Nwanyimba Jewel began writing fiction in 2013 and has since written many short stories. She is an avid reader and especially loves African literature — African stories written by African authors. Her literary role model is Chimamanda Adichie.
For her stories, she draws inspiration from the society and its dynamics like politics, feminism, social stratification, racism and love, amongst others. She however believes she is her greatest inspiration. She wants to write the stories that people do not tell, to be a hero of some sort in the world of fiction writing. Because reading has made her a better person, she wants people to read her works and become better people.
She is a co-founder and administrator of Raconteur, a Facebook group that connects young writers like herself and bolsters them to both embrace and improve upon their art. When she isn’t manning Raconteur, seeking out the nearest literary club (or otherwise establishing one) or busy coding on her computer, she loves to participate in literary contests one of which was BeCreative 1.0, an inter-university writing competition in which she placed third in 2017.
Jewel is from Ebonyi and resides in Enugu where she studies Computer Engineering at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). Her debut novel will soon be published.
“Before the program I wasn’t convinced to challenge myself by publishing my work on online sites. But now, I’m convinced to at least try.
Onuigbo Rachael is a writer, natural skin-care enthusiast and fitness coach.
She won the 2015/2016 “My Rainbow Books Writing Competition” and she is currently writing a book based on her life experiences.
Rachael is an ardent reader who loves exploring romance genres, young adult fiction and thrillers. She is usually head deep in a book or a smart phone – reading or doing a research. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found at the gym, engaging workout enthusiasts to stay fit. Rachael is also a motivator in the cause for skin enhancements using natural/organic products.
“I experienced positive changes from my commitment to this programme. I learnt the important rule of “show not tell” when writing fiction and that made me conscious of my writing style. I have seen so much improvement in my works from that alone and have received compliments there.
Olivia Nsofor is a Nigerian writer, photographer and graduate of Babcock University. Her writings have appeared online on social media platforms. She was the first runner up at the October edition; ThinkLiv Monthly Poetry Contest. Currently, she is undertaking her National Youth Service at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan and she recently published her first e-book on Okada books.
“I was able to learn from Dami Ajayi's view of poetry and I would like to do this again under the supervision of another mentor, to get another perspective.”
Joseph Wodo is from Delta State in Nigeria and he currently resides in Lagos. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Landmark University, Nigeria.
Joseph began writing poetry in 2012 and he has utilized opportunities, networks and experiences to maximize his knowledge of poetry writing in literature. He loves to read works of African literature, especially fiction. Joseph’s literary role model is Chinua Achebe and while writing poetry, he draws inspiration from life, love, politics, and freedom; to mention a few. He aims to inspire people positively with his poems and to influence the world of African literature. His first anthology will be published soon.
In addition to writing, Joseph is a photographer and he uses photography as a medium of personal expressions. His photographs and write-ups have been published on Etejo and More Branches; which are both websites for photojournalism. Joseph also has passion for volunteering and he has volunteered at organizations like LagosFood Bank, Restructure Africa and Ignite Love Foundation.
“Because of the programme, I have more knowledge and insight on how to better myself; literary-wise.