I earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. My story "Fatty Acids" will be published in 2018 in Waxwing Magazine. The story is one of a collection of short stories-in-progress, called Homescar, which are set in the Hebridean Islands of Scotland. I am also working on a novel, entitled Listen, You Are My Sun, set in Mali during the Islamic occupation of 2013.
I worked for twelve years as a freelance journalist in west Africa, covering politics, economics, religion, and arts, with a specialism in African music. Publications include the Guardian, the International Herald Tribune, the Sunday Times, the Observer Magazine, the Independent, Reuters, the BBC, Roads and Kingdoms, Wanderlust Magazine, and Songlines. I was a financial reporter for Bloomberg News between 2006 and 2013. I have made radio packages for the BBC, NPR, Swedish Radio, and CBC on topics varying from Senegalese bare-knuckle wrestling to Mauritanian pop music.
I have had two photography exhibitions, in London and in Dakar, of my collection of photos taken over a two year period in a Senegalese bare-knuckle wrestling school. I have also had photographs published by the Observer, the Guardian, the BBC, The Royal Academy of Dance Magazine, and Reuters.
In 2009 I compiled the African hip-hop compilation Yes We Can: Songs About Leaving Africa for German record label OutHere Records. The album of little-known and previously unreleased tracks came from a long interest in, and reporting on, the various refugee crises to have hit west Africa and, through music, explored those migrant narratives. I am also an old-time banjo player.
From 2012 to 2015 I was the Arts Editor at The Africa Report Magazine.
Teacher and trainer
Creative writing courses include:
Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, Asheville NC – "'One Good Thing About Music': What Writing Musical Scenes Brings to Fiction."
Rockport Women's Writing Retreat, Rockport MA – "Sciencing Fiction and Poetry: the Mind as Another Heart."
Journalism training includes:
Thomson Reuters Foundation, Freetown, Sierra Leone – After Ebola: training investigative reporters on Ebola funding in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Thomson Reuters Foundation, London – Advanced Business Journalism training.
I also work as a mentor in French and English to investigative reporters under the Thomson Reuters Foundation mentorship programmes.
I was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University Anthropology Department, Princeton NJ, and in the Journalism departments at Emory & Henry, VA, and Pikeville College, KY.