Ebedi gave me the opportunity to understand Nigerians —Ghanaian writer, Attafuah
Josephine Odura Attafuah is a Ghanaian writer who recently completed a six-week residency at the Ebedi International Writer’s Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State. In this interview with Adewale Oshodi, she speaks about her writing and her opinion about Nigerians during her visit to the country. Excerpt:
You recently completed a six-week residency at Ebedi International Writer’s Residency in Iseyin, Oyo State, how did you get to know about the residency?
I am a member of the Ghana Writers Association, and I saw the residency on a writer’s platform and I applied, and here I am in Nigeria.
So what were you able to do at Ebedi?
I am really glad I came, as I was able to focus on my writings. I would not have done what I did at Ebedi in my normal environment. I had enough time to focus on writing. I also learnt a lot from my fellow writers, as we compared ideas on certain literary aspects.
Part of your assignment at Ebedi was to teach secondary school students in any literary genre, how did that go?
It definitely went well. I enjoyed my time with the students, as they were really eager to learn. I taught them drama and poetry, as well as some aspects of the Ghanaian language. It was really an interesting period for me. Apart from writing and teaching the students, I also visited some places in Lagos, Ibadan and Iseyin. The experience was worthwhile and I am happy I came.
Being your first time in Nigeria, how would you describe the people?
It seems locations matter when one wants to describe Nigerians. When I got to Jibowu motor park in Lagos, I discovered the people were always in a hurry. In fact, when I blocked some people with my luggage, they just said, ‘move to one side, abeg.’ In Lagos, it seems everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere. However, when I got to Ibadan, things were a little slow compared to what I experienced in Lagos. However, by the time I got to Iseyin, the people are relaxed, so that is why I said location matters when one wants to describe Nigerians. However, I noticed Nigerians are hospitable people, especially those in Iseyin, and I was told that this is true of people in small towns, so Ebedi’s opportunity gave me the chance to understand Nigerians.
How will you describe the Ebedi idea?
It is a great idea. I am happy I am a fellow now. Ebedi gave me the opportunity to travel to Nigeria, and the experience, right from the time I got off the bus in Lagos, to the time time I got to Iseyin is something I will cherish for a long time. Nigeria is also very big. When I boarded a bus in Lagos to Iseyin, I thought it would just take at most an hour, but it turned out to be a journey of more than three hours. I will definitely love to visit Nigeria again soon.