ama ata-aidoo

Ama Ata-Aidoo


Ama Ata Aidoo is a noted African writer. She is the author of among other titles, the play ANOWA, short stories collections like DIPLOMATIC POUNDS and the novel CHANGES. Professor Aidoo has taught courses on African and other Post-colonial literatures. An alumna of the University of Ghana, Legon she was immediately appointed on graduation as a Junior Research Fellow at that university’s Institute of African Studies. In the early 1980’s, she was Minister of Education (Ghana). At various times during her career, Aidoo was a fellow at the Advanced Creative Writing Program at Stanford University; lectured in the Department of English, University of Cape Coast; served on some boards of directors including that of the Arts Council of Ghana and the Ghana Medical and Dental Council. Ama Ata Aidoo was Visiting Professor at Brown University until recently.

dele olojede

Dele Olojede


Dele Olojede is a writer, publisher and editor, and the first African to win the Pulitzer Prize. In a 35-year career as a newspaperman, Dele has reported and written from more than 50 countries on four continents, covering scallop men and dictators, warlords, musicians, genocides, hopeful elections, famines and historic figures, including Nelson Mandela. He also was publisher of NEXT newspapers in his native Nigeria which, for an exhilarating five years in the mid-noughts, sought to demonstrate the centrality of an incorruptible media to a democratic society beset by rapacious elites.

For his efforts, he became a recipient of the 2011 McNulty Prize.

Dele also received the 2010 Prize for Ethical Business Leadership from the Global Forum for Ethics in Business. He was awarded, in 2009, the Distinguished Alumni Prize of Columbia University, where he earned a masters in journalism nearly 30 years ago. He also was educated at the University of Lagos. He is a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Dele is married to Amma Ogan, a former newspaper editor and columnist, and they have two young adult daughters.

Dele is currently building a platform for long-form writing about the African world.

ella wakatama allfrey

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, OBE

British / Zimbabwe

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is a Zimbabwe-born editor and literary critic. She currently sits on the boards of Art for Amnesty, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Jalada Collective (Kenya) and the Writers’ Centre Norwich. She has been on the judging panel of numerous literary prizes, including David Cohen Prize, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She is a 2017 judge for the International Dublin Literature Award. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Observer and she has been a contributor to the book pages of NPR. She is a former Deputy Editor of literary quarterly Granta and former Senior Editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House.
She is the editor of four anthologies including Safe House, Explorations in Creative Non-Fiction and the 2014 anthology Africa39 which showcased the work of 39 of the best writers from sub-Saharan Africa. She is patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature and was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to the publishing industry.

Margaret Busby, OBE


is a Ghana-born publisher, editor, writer, critic and broadcaster. She became the UK’s youngest and first Black woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby Ltd, of which she was Editorial Director for 20 years, and was subsequently Editorial Director of Earthscan Publications. She has served as a judge for such prestigious literary awards as Africa39, the Caine Prize for African Writing, Orange Prize, Commonwealth Book Prize, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Wasafiri New Writing Prize, SI Leeds Prize, and the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She edited the pioneering anthology Daughters of Africa (1992), and has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Guardian, Observer, Independent, New Statesman and Sunday Times. She has also written for the stage and for radio, her abridgements and dramatisations encompassing work by C. L. R. James, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Timothy Mo, Sam Selvon, Walter Mosley, Henry Louis Gates, Lawrence Scott and Simi Bedford. She has won many honours for her contributions to literature and publishing, among them an OBE, an honorary doctorate from the Open University, Honorary Fellowship from Queen Mary, University of London, and the Henry Swanzy Award.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika


Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Sarah serves on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and is host of OZY's video series, "Write." Her second novel “Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun” was shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize.

Zakes Mda

South Africa

A writer, painter, filmmaker and music composer based in Athens Ohio where he was professor of creative writing at Ohio University. He has published 22 books, ten of which are novels and the rest collections of plays, poetry and a monograph on theatre for development. His works have been translated into 20 languages and have won a number of awards in South Africa, the USA and Italy. His memoir titled Sometimes there is a Void: Memoirs of an Outsider was the New York Times Notable Book for 2012. He holds honorary doctoral degrees form five universities, including the University of Cape Town and Dartmouth College, and is an honorary patron of the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.