In Summary

  • The FEMRITE Regional Residency provides space for women to write, to promote inter-cultural literary discourse and to celebrate African women’s literature.
  • Ugandan playwright, filmmaker and artistic director Judith Lucy Adong says she has become a better playwright as a result of attending theatre residencies and labs.

Every year, artistes and writers apply for hundreds of residencies around the world that provide an inspiring ambience and an escape from daily life’s distractions. The writers are meant to focus on their work, to polish or finish their manuscripts or scripts, sculpt, compose or even start new projects.

The Ebedi International Writers’ Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State in Nigeria and the Uganda Women’s Writers Association (FEMRITE) Regional Residency for African Women Writers in Kampala are an example of residencies that exist in Africa.

The Ebedi Residency offers writers a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work. Started in 2010, it has hosted 65 writers, out of which 35 were women, from Nigeria, Cameroun, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire. They include Yewande Omotoso, Doreen Baingana, Ayodele Olofintuade, Obinna Udenwe, Juliet Kushaba and Jumoke Verissimo, among others.

The FEMRITE Regional Residency provides space for women to write, to promote inter-cultural literary discourse and to celebrate African women’s literature.

Ugandan playwright, filmmaker and artistic director Judith Lucy Adong says she has become a better playwright as a result of attending theatre residencies and labs. Adong was a writer in residence with Sundance Institute Theatre Lab in 2010 in Kenya and 2011 in New York, where she development her much acclaimed play Silent Voices. She also attended the Royal Court Theatre International Playwrights Residency in London, where she developed her plays Just Me, You and The Silence.

“One of the advantages of a theatre residency is that you have a script writing supervisor (mentor), who reads and guides you into revisiting, adjusting and improving your script,” Adong told Saturday Nation.

“It is not just you and your mentor, but you have a director, actors and actresses... Whichever scene you write, actors and actresses perform it,” Adong adds.

For Ugandan poet, short story writer and novelist Beatrice Lamwaka, attending writing residencies have enabled her complete her stories and embark on new ones.

Lamwaka has attended the Le Chateau de Lavigny Residency in Switzerland, the Rockerfeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency in Italy, and FEMRITE’s regional residencies in Jinja and Entebbe in Uganda.

Page 1 of 2