Gerald Ibe Oluchi.
By Abdullahi Abubakar
Two writers, Umari Ayim and Oluchi Gerald Ibe, will read from their new books before the Abuja literati at the May 25 edition of the long-running Guest Writer Session, an intervention by the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF).
Ms Ayim who is the author of the novel, Twilight At Terracotta Indigo, recently published her maiden poetry collection, Inside My Head. That won the 2012 Prize for Poetry(ANA). Ibe, the author of Road To Biafra, has now published a collection of short stories, After the Tears.
The Cross River State-born Ayim is a lawyer by training but has taken a daring professional move by becoming a full-time writer. She attended Federal Government Girls College, New Bussa, Niger State and proceeded to the University of Lagos to study law. After graduation, she could no longer hold back her passion for writing and began work on what became her debut novel, Terracotta Indigo.
Her foray into poetry is not a surprise considering her poems have appeared in several online and print media, and she acknowledges being inspired by the likes of Maya Angelou, Okot p’Bitek, Ngugi wa Thiongo and Christopher Okigbo.
Ayim enjoys several hobbies including designing, blogging and taking long walks. She is currently working on her second novel which is tentatively titled “Khaki”.
The Abuja-based Ayim belongs to a fledgling Pan-Africanist feminist group, WomenUnder30 with membership currently drawn from Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia and Zimbabwe. The group seeks to promote excellence among African young women under the age of 30 through the use of Information and Communication Technology. This activist side of her is also reflected in several articles which have been published in the Guardian Newspapers.
The Imo State-born Ibe holds a first degree in history from the Imo State University and a master’s degree from the University of Lagos.
He started his working career as a management trainee with John Holt Plc in 1994 before moving over to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture Ibadan as a management consultant in 1999. In 2001 he moved briefly to Warri where he worked with Arco Petrochemicals till 2002.
In 2003, he relocate relocated to Imo State and became involved in politics and publishing .
In June 2011, he left Imo State for Abuja to pursue a doctoral programme at University of Abuja and to develop his writing interests. He is currently a PhD student in the traumatized University of Abuja. He is also an avowed activist he as recent as the 9th of May 2013, joined other members of the Nancy and Jennifer Ibe Centre for Public Accountability (NAJICPA) staged a global walk against corruption in Nigeria in which Nigerians in twenty six cities across the world participated.
Mr. Ibe loves research and writing and is at home with inquiries about the Igbo past. He is a Director of NISOFES - Nigerian Songs Festival, Director of One Voice Cultural Ensemble and member Mbari Literary Association – a body of writers and critics based in Owerri. He is married to Princess Edwina and has four children.
The Guest Writer Session, which now holds at the prestigious Nanet Suites and runs from 4 to 7 pm, includes side attractions of poetry performance, mini art exhibition, a raffle-draw for book, and a stirring dose of live music.
–– Abdullahi Abubakar is the Public Relations Officer of the Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF)