Wana Udobang:Writer of the Week

Our writer of the week, Wana is many things. She is not only a writer and philantrophist but an inspiration to women and men all over the world.

Wana, is a journalist, poet, activist and filmmaker.  Born in Lagos Nigeria, she graduated from the University for The Creative Arts in England with a first class degree in Journalism. She is creative director of WanaWana productions and hosts the television program Airtel Touching Lives.

She has written,directed and produced numerous documentaries including ‘warriors’ a series created for awareness on sickle cell. She released her first spoken word album in 2013 (dirty laundry). Her forthcoming album titled “In memory of forgetting” is slated for release at the end of 2017.

Wana has worked with the BBC Radio4,  BBC world service and 92.3 Inspiration FM. Her works have appeared on Aljazeera,Guardian UK, Guardian Nigeria, Index on Censorship, and Brittle Paper. Her nominations include: Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award for Outstanding Radio Program Presenter- Lagos (Drive Time 4pm-8pm), Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Award for Best Radio Program. In 2016 she was long listed for the One World Media award in the Women’s rights in Africa award category. She is a recipient of the International Reporting Project(IRP) fellowship, the Gabriel Garcia Marquez cultural journalism fellowship and the Religious News Foundation grant.

She is founder of 1k4Cancer initiative whose mission is to help raise funds for women who have been diagnosed with cancer but can’t afford treatment. Her works revolve around women’s rights, social justice, personal narratives, and culture.

See our interview with her below:
1 You have a passion for health related documentaries. From sensitive skin to warriors. Any particular reason why?
I think on a broader level i am interested in trauma as a subject. What that does to the body and the mind. So i think automatically illness comes under that umbrella, how it invades, how  we navigate those conditions and essentially what they do to us. But what illness does to a person is also very harrowing and the lack and failure of systems to help recover is worth interrogating.

2 Do you have a background is science or is it simply through research and experience or probably personal interactions that you pick causes that interest you?
Sadly my background in science stops at my A ‘level in Biology but it is a bit of everything. When i know someone going through an experience, it usually becomes personal for me and i am compelled by peoples personal stories and then research also comes in from there.

3 Do you have a writing ritual?
Not really to be honest. I’m always jotting down thoughts and sentences as they come though. And i do those at random places as well. I generally just write so it is not as regimented in terms of what time of the day i write.

4 What is your favorite poem on the album
That one is tough. It is between Dorothy and 20

5 Do you get stage fright?
Well i wouldn’t say stage fright but more butterflies and nerves.

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COAL’s mission is to support and provide opportunities for budding writers in Africa to develop their creative independent voices and to explore careers in professional writing. To help creative writers and spoken word artists realise their literary dreams by providing platforms for their self expression. .........



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