Yewande Omotoso, 2012
She trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a Masters in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel ‘Bomboy’ published in 2011 by Cape Town publisher Modjaji Books. Bomboy was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards, the MNet Film Award and the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature. It won the South African Literary Award First Time Author Prize. Her other works include short stories ‘Two Old People’ in the anthology ‘Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa’, ‘How About The Children’ published in The Kalahari Review, ‘Things Are Hard’ in the 2012 Caine Prize Anthology and ‘Fish’ published in The Moth Literary Journal. Yewande’s poetry is published in the Baobab Literary Journal. ‘The Rain’ was shortlisted for the 2012 Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Awards. She was a 2013 Norman Mailer Fellow and the 2014 Etisalat Fellow at the University of East Anglia.
Yewande's writing is a way of looking; at people, emotions and experiences, particularly those we might be more compelled to hide. She writes about displacement; the kind experienced by immigrants in a foreign land as well as those of us who sometimes feel alien in our human bodies, Yewande writes about loneliness, pains and aches that cannot be explained by the presence of physical wounds and fractures.
Yewande's residency is supported by a partnership between Bundanon Trust and the Africa Centre.
The Africa Centre was established in 2005 as an international centre for creativity, artistic excellence and intellectual engagement. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the Africa Centre, amongst other things, partners with existing artist-in-residence programs around the globe to award exceptional African artists with the opportunity to take up a short-term residency to focus on consolidating their work and developing new projects.
Since its inception in 2011, AIR has funded 19 African artists to attend residencies in Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Finland, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the USA.
Previous artists at Bundanon have been Kenyan poet Ngwatilo Mawyoo in 2013 and Angolan visual artist Yonamine Miguel in 2012.