How do you feel having been taught by award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie?
I got questions like this in varying tones after the workshop. Yet the truth is: that is not the point. When you encounter Chimamanda, you come off feeling like you have touched light. That’s poetic. I mean you come off knowing that this is a human, who has become special becomes she believes in humanity, humaneness. So it did not feel like sitting next to an amazon, which it really was, it just felt like sitting next to a big sister, who knows what it feels to be your age, and be unsure, and who was willing to help you anyway she could.
We were twenty-three in the Farafina workshop this year, and none of us will be able to write about Chimamanda without choking on emotions, none.
“If you are looking for money, please get a job.” –
That was the second gem she threw at us on the second day of the workshop. I caught this gem and kept it. But before I talk about why she said that and what she said next, let’s talk about the very first gem.
I applied four times for the Farafina Workshop, or was it five? I am not sure, so let’s stick with four. Every year since 2013, I have been applying for the Farafina Creative Writing workshop. I think once I got the rejection mail, other times, I did not get anything.
On Thursday the 9th of June 2016, I was in church. It was night. The email of acceptance came in and I quickly went outside to jump up and pump my fist in the air. This my personal story of perseverance set the tone of the workshop for me.