Writers from Nigeria and the UK on centring African Muslim woman narratives, with Salma El Wardany, Hauwa Ojeifo, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai & Ais
“Nothing is more perilous than truth in a world that lies.” – Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian author of Woman at Point Zero
In the face of misogyny and Islamophobia, what does it mean to centre the narratives of African Muslim women in an increasingly hostile world? How do they confront uncomfortable and liberating truths in their writing? Spanning across genres of fiction, non-fiction, essay and blog writing, writers Salma El Wardany, Hauwa Ojeifo, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai join CNN producer Aisha Salaudeen in sharing what drives them to capture the joys, sorrows, triumphs, loves and heartbreak of being a Muslim woman of African heritage in their writing.
Presented in partnership with Kaduna Books & Arts Festival and supported by the British Council.
Here’s what you need to know about the speakers:
Writer, poet, speaker and BBC radio presenter, Salma El-Wardany, is half Egyptian, half Irish and part Desi, regularly working with global brands to raise awareness through poetry and conversation. She’s part of the award-winning bestseller It’s Not About the Burqa and is currently publishing her debut novel in 2022 with Trapeze in the UK, and Grand Central in the US.
Hadiza Isma El-Rufai has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in the UK. She is the founder of Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation. The foundation aims to awaken and nurture young people’s talent in creative writing. Hadiza writes poetry and short stories. Her first novel, An Abundance of Scorpions, was published in November 2017. She is currently working on her second novel. Hadiza lives in Kaduna, Nigeria.
Hauwa Ojeifo is a Nigerian woman who publicly identifies as living with a mental health condition and psychosocial disability. She is the founder and Executive Director at She Writes Woman, a nonprofit movement that gives mental health a voice in Nigeria by empowering people with loved experience to tell their stories, co-create their solutions and advocate for their rights. She’s popularly tagged, “the voice of mental health”.
Aisha Salaudeen is an award-winning storyteller based in Nigeria. She has worked in full-time and freelance journalism, using images, videos, and text to report and investigate diverse human interest stories in Africa. She is currently a TV producer with CNN International producing shows such as Inside Africa, Marketplace Africa, and African Voices Changemakers out of Africa.