Award-Winning Young Gambian Writer of the Year 2019 and Laureate for Children’s Set For Africa Tour
Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe (ML Sowe), one of Gambia’s finest young writers, the founder of the Young Writers’ Association of The Gambia (YWAG) and the current Secretary General of the Writers’ Association of The Gambia (WAG), who is also an emerging young West African writer and scholar is ready to complete his Africa tour in Abuja, Nigeria.
ML Sowe will be joining West Africa’s four other finest emerging young writers: Nyang God’s Will N from Cameroon, Maryam Boyi from Nigeria, Ernestina Edem Azah from Ghana and Tega Oghenechovwen from Nigeria at the PenPen African Writer’s Residency. PenPen Africa is an African writers’ residency project that will feature twelve selected writers from across Africa. The programme shall hold in both Nigeria and Kenya and will run from July 1, 2019 till June 30, 2020. This programme is implemented in partnership with the Writers Guild Kenya. It is funded by Culture at Work Africa and co-funded by the European Union.
The first edition of the residency which Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe is part of shall hold from November 1st to 22nd, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria. The geographical scope covers writers from Central and West Africa. The second edition shall hold in Nairobi, Kenya in March 2020 and covers writers from East and Southern Africa.
Mr. Sowe is an emerging West African writer and scholar who has travelled wider across Africa to 14 different countries. He’s an independent researcher and scholar of intellectual property and library and information studies and records and archives management. He was very recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the African Union Headquarters for the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages organized by the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN) in partnership with UNESCO, and he was also in the same place for the Young African Thinkers Convention (YATC 2018)organised by the Youth Division under the auspices of the African Union and Beza International Ministries.
He returned to The Gambia on 8 March 2019 and lost his biological mother two weeks upon his arrival. He’s published a poem entitle ”The Forest of Silence” on the African Writers Magazine; which can be found on this link:
He was also in Kenya and Morocco for the African Writers Conference and the UN Youth and Children Migration Forum held in Marakesh.
“We want to reach out to wider audience and collaborate with different writers and writers associations across Africa by spreading positivity and the visibility of Gambian literature and publications through the language of writing. A new Gambia is emerging – and the Gambia that’s yet to come, is going to be a Gambia of writers and arts and culture,” said Gambian writer and scholar. Sowe is the only young Gambian from post-independence to reach the stage of being a West African writer and known all over the world. When asked how does this started, this is what he has to say ” I’ve been blessed with an inexplicable gift by God to be an examplary on planet earth and I started this at the age of 14 when I wrote my first book, Don’t Judge The Book By The Cover. I beautifully describe my emergence as a progressive realization of a worthy ideal towards the advancement of Gambian literature. My writings are divinely inspired and guided by Allah and I consistently focus on releasing valuable content and books that are beyond the boundaries of The Gambia to my readers- I focus on quality not quantity as I navigate this path of success in life and my career as an author. I don’t write for fame or presidential gains. I don’t write because I want to – or see others writing–but I write because God inspired me to convey certain things to mankind which I cannot take to my grave.”
When asked since when did he start writing and how writing is changing his life, Mr. Sowe said: ” I started writing at the age of 14. Since I was a young boy growing up in Brikama Wellingara, I have been focused on working hard towards a successful career as a writer. I was on track to start climbing the literary ladder and finding success from a very early age such that anyone who knows me well enough knows me for two things: hard work and learning.
In reality, I felt burnt out and uninspired without receiving the right attention I deserve in my own country. But I’m always treated well and very respected outside The Gambia. This really worried me a lot even having been the first young Gambian writer to have his book approved for use in our school curriculum. I surrounded myself with books and people who seemed unfulfilled in their jobs but nevertheless held on to them for stability and fear of trying something new which isn’t my career. I was tired of working for people and wanted to work for myself. Then, I founded the Young Writers’ Association of The Gambia (YWAG) in 2012 in order to provide a responsive and responsible leadership that can address the challenges face by young Gambian writers.
I knew I had to veer off the straight and narrow path that was laid out for me my whole life and take the plunge in pursuit of my passions. I’ve been using my writing skills to help people who can’t help themselves (and thus also can’t pay for the services I’ve given them). I came from nowhere and heading somewhere–from zero to being a hero. I encountered the greatest challenges in life and suffered the most. Later, I was made to understand that God tests His strongest soldier with the hardest battle “, said ML Sowe.
About Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe (ML Sowe)
Born on 7 January 1990 in Bakau Newtown and moved to Brikama Town at the age of 5, Modou Lamin Sowe, popularly known as Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe was raised and schooled in Brikama; and he is a renowned Gambian author and a scholar born in a family of religious leaders. His family has a number of sheikhs and Imams renowned for their Islamic scholarship from his grandparents.
At the age of 14, he wrote his first book ( Don’t Judge The Book By The Cover) and began his career as a scholar, but his father encouraged him to start learning religion at a local Arabic school. After completing his studies, he taught himself how to read and write in English because his family is poor. He grew up passing all his exams in school and known to be very intelligent and hard working. Modou is fiercely brilliant and very famous from an early age because of outspokeness and eloquence.
In 2016, he published his debut titled ‘The Throne of The Ghost’ in USA and had his book (The Memories of the Reflection) approved by MoBSE to be used in upper basic schools in 2014.
He’s a distinguished award-winning Gambian writer, a former teaching assistant, university librarian and director of academic research at the African Development University)(ADU); and former teacher-librarian and drama coordinator at Masroor Senior Secondary School , his alma mater.
The 29-year old unmarried scholar has been awarded by the Writers’ Association of The Gambia as the Young Gambian Writer of the Year and the Winner of Children’s Literature Prize 2019.
Recently elected Secretary General of the Writers’ Association of The Gambia ( WAG);
He’s launched his critically acclaim book ( The Memories of Reflection) approved by MoBSE in 2014 to be used in upper basic schools;
Recently named the Gambian representative to the Writers Space Africa (WSA).