Writers and Poets
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WAYout runs a writers group which trains members in storytelling and script writing. Foday Sillah wrote the script for the just released feature film The Choice and we have produced comedies and awareness raising dramas.
In 2017, volunteer Stella Harding started a poetry group over messenger with a group of just ten. When she returned to Freetown in 2018 she found herself running three groups and the number of people joining the groups kept growing. She returned again in May 2019 and ran groups with established poetry writing members as well as new groups in Ferry Junction and Susan’s Bay. Writing poetry improves literacy skills and enables people to explore their experiences and voice things otherwise unsaid. WAYout poets have been published in online magazines and have performed live at the Freetown Music Festival and other open mic venues. We have produced a compilation of their poems in the book Written Off with an introduction from Frank Turner and now available on Amazon or, if you want a paper copy, please email us at email@example.com. It is also available in CLC Bookshop, Freetown.
Cleffy is the pen name of Sierra Leonean poet and musician Ibrahim Sorie Bangura. Born in 1992 in a subsistence farming village in the Northern province of Lungi, he grew up speaking Themne, Susu, and Krio as well as English. In 2011 he migrated to the capital Freetown to escape rural poverty. After surviving on the streets for several years he joined WAYout where he now studies creative writing and music production. In 2017 he was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Adda poetry commission and in 2018 he had a poem published in the international online literary magazine Write the City. He is currently working on a poetry project supported by the Prince Claus Fund. Cleffy’s writing reflects his deep affection and respect for the oral story telling traditions of his village home overlaid with the rhymes and rhythms of urban street youth culture.
The writers in Written Off are, in alphabetical order: Abbas Bangura, Ibrahim Sorie Bangura, Sulaiman Bangura, Abdul Barrie, Wilfred Derosemi Cole, Daniel Conteh, Ibrahim Dumbuya, Alpha Oumar Jalloh, Ishmael Jalloh, Abdul Aziz Kamara, Ahmed Tejan Kamara, Francis Kamara, Gibril Kamara, Michael Samuel Kamara, Mohamed J. Kamara, Saidu M. Kamara, Yusuf Kamara, Mohamed Kanu, Kissi Poets, Musa Sema Konteh, Ibrahim Tejan Koroma, Elijah I. Deen Kuyateh, Abibatu Ndaloma, Justice Rashid, Mohamed Rogers, Francis Foday Sannoh, Bolama Sheriff, Foday Sillah, Ishmael Turay and Unisa Turay.