By British Council Nigeria

05 December 2019 - 11:10

Thanks to you Yvonne Awosanya-Adefajo, TV screenwriter, storyteller and participant in the British Council ‘Telling Stories’ Writers’ Workshop, 200 schools in Lagos and Ogun states are inspiring the next generation of leaders to tell their stories and change the way the world views Africa.

In 2003, Yvonne Awosanya-Adefajo was one of 16 finalists, selected from over 5,000 entrants, to be part of a week-long, British Council ‘Telling Stories’ writers’ workshop. Facilitators included Mabel Segun, Helon Habila, Professor Karen King and Professor Wole Soyinka. 

With participants drawn from many different parts of Nigeria, - from the North, South and West, - It was the first time that Yvonne had found herself interacting with so many different people from different tribes. 

The workshop involved a week of teaching the art and craft of writing short stories. “But aside from the skills that we learnt, it was a week of learning about cultures, accepting each other, and learning that though we were different, we could work together in peace and harmony”. It gave birth to some beautiful relationships and friendships, which have remained strong, even now, more than fifteen years later.

“Prior to this time, I had felt that being a writer was nothing to be celebrated. But working together as a team, being accepted as a writer, I met with individuals who made me believe that I have what it takes to excel and to be the very best. They made me see that the only thing limiting me, was me”.

After her experience with the British Council, Yvonne went on to write for television, and create screenplays. She then worked as a producer for Ebonylife Television, before running an organisation that worked with authors, helping them to find their voice, identify their stories and polish their craft. Her experience helped her better understand people, working with people from different climes, cultures, and to want to produce work to achieve one sole purpose. 

 “I have a passion to give back to society and to mentor the next generation of writers. This passion led me to spearhead a book-reading tour across 200 schools in Lagos and Ogun states, using reading to inspire the next generation of leaders. I did this with the Scholamania Readers and Writers Club”.  

“I remain passionate about one thing: to tell stories. To change the way the world views Africa, by telling our stories, the way they should be told”.