TWO filmmakers and a poet – Kasham Keltuma, Ishaya Bako and Musa Okpanachi – will feature at the July 27 edition of the Guest Writer Session of the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF) at Nanet Suites, Central Business District, Abuja.
Kasham Keltuma,who hails from Gombe State, studied Theatre Arts at the University of Jos and Film Production at the prestigious London Film Academy. She runs the Abuja-based production outfit, Organised Spectacle. She is also passionate about women empowerment and uses the platform of her NGO, Mother Nation Initiative (MONI) to assist rural women in starting petty trading.
Ms Keltuma’s filmography includes, Insomnia and The Dress, while her latest production is the short film, A Spoon and a Dog.
Ishaya Bako was born in Kaduna, where he lived and schooled until he left to study at Management Information Technology (MIT) at the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State. A near fatal car crash months after graduation led Ishaya to make a decision away from a career in IT to one behind the camera. His resolve was strengthened when he was accepted into the MA Filmmaking programme of the London Film School, from where he graduated in 2010 with a distinction and emphasis in writing and directing for film.
Passionate about making socially conscious films, his graduation film, Braids on a Bald Head: An exploration of marriage and sexuality was selected in over a dozen International Film Festivals including Seattle and Clermont-Ferrand and won the Best Short Film Prize at the 2012 AMAA awards.
Bako’s recent short film, Fuelling Poverty, a documentary that comments on the fuel subsidy scam in Nigeria, was screened at the African Film Festival in New York before winning the Best Documentary prize at the 2013 AMAA Awards. It has been banned from exhibition in Nigeria by the Film and Censors Board. His filmography includes, School of Curry, Blue Baby Elephants, The Filipino Guide on How to Be Invincible in London, Rage, Enitan, Easy Money, and Not Do or Die.
Musa Idris Okpanachi hails from Kogi State and teaches English Linguistics at the University of Maiduguri, where he has been a long-serving member of the Department of English. A product of the University of Jos and currently an Associate Professor, Okpanachi writes both poetry and fiction. His short stories, “Daybreak” and “Time Stops” have been published in Gombak Review
His poems have been published in various journals and anthologies. His collection of poems, The Eaters of the Living, published by Kraft Books Limited, won the 2008 ANA/Cadbury Prize for Poetry. The judges had commented that “Okpanachi reveals himself as the voice of the downtrodden with the uncanny ability to transform simple words into powerful imagery of bullets pulling down the fortress of oppression erected by the members of the ruling class who are depicted as heartless predators.” The collection was also shortlisted for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2009.
Okpanachi’s new volume of poems, From the Margins of Paradise, can be regarded as continuing with the thematic concerns of Eaters, and bearing his hallmarks of riveting images and charming lines.
The Guest Writer Session, an initiative of the Abuja Writers Forum, started in June 2008 and is into its fifth year. It is a platform for promoting both upcoming and established writers, enabling direct and immediate interaction with a live audience.