Poda-Poda Stories, a well-known literary organization in Sierra Leone, is excited to announce the launch of its inaugural fellowship program and introduce the selected fellows to the public. The Poda-Poda Stories Fellowship, which will last for one year, aims to support and nurture young literary talents in Sierra Leone. The program is designed to provide a conducive environment for these emerging writers to thrive in the literary field and undertake their own creative projects.
We are delighted to be supporting the Poda-Poda Stories fellowships through our creative grants programme.
Congratulations to the first two fellows, Josephine Kamara and Sulaiman Munda Bonnie! https://t.co/fLePwsXtvo
— Commonwealth Foundation Creatives (@cwfcreatives) September 26, 2023
The fellowship program is built on three key pillars: learning, support, and implementation. This structure ensures that fellows not only gain expertise in editing and publishing but also enhance their skills through specialized workshops. With the invaluable support of the Poda-Poda Stories staff, fellows will have the opportunity to gain practical experience in various areas, including administrative tasks and creating content for social media. A significant aspect of this fellowship is the development and execution of a capstone project by each fellow, using their preferred medium of expression.
The organization emphasizes its mission, stating, “The aim of the fellowship is to inspire and train the next generation of young writers in Sierra Leone. By providing access to resources, coaching, training, and support for their independent projects, we hope that fellows will enhance their creative skills while gaining exposure to the world of publishing, writing, and editing. The fellows will also have the chance to shadow and assist the editors, gaining firsthand experience in running a literary platform.”
This year, Poda-Poda Stories has chosen two exceptional individuals for this prestigious fellowship. Sulaiman Munda Bonnie, an English graduate with top honors from the University of Sierra Leone, is currently pursuing law at the same institution. He has received recognition for winning the esteemed African Union’s Youth Essay Contest in 2022. In addition to teaching English at Naiahcom High School in Freetown, Bonnie leads the Poetry Reading Club at Fourah Bay College. He is an enthusiastic writer of poetry and short stories and is inspired by Jane Austen, who once said, “When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
Josephine Kamara, on the other hand, is a passionate advocate for girls’ rights with over a decade of experience. She currently serves as the Senior Advocacy Manager at Purposeful, Sierra Leone. Kamara has written extensively on topics such as education, rape culture, and empowering girls. Her efforts have gained global recognition, and she was honored by Together for Girls in 2015 as one of the 16 heroes fighting against violence targeting girls. Kamara is currently studying ‘Power, Participation and Social Change’ at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Her aspiration is to write and share her memoir with the world.
The selection of Sulaiman Munda Bonnie and Josephine Kamara as fellows for the inaugural Poda-Poda Stories Fellowship highlights their outstanding achievements and dedication to their respective fields. Poda-Poda Stories is excited to support and guide these talented individuals as they embark on this transformative journey in their literary careers.