Submissions: 2024 GRIOT Volume

Onwards, with courage, curiosity and compassion, with healing hands and the will to be. To contribute to a community of rich stories with a sense of empowerment and support that strengthens our African leadership…feeding creativity with honesty; an expression of the voices of our deep ancestry. 

Courage. Community. Creativity. This is our call to you. To craft and share a new narrative of our mother Africa. To show how we, her future, are being made one.

The We Will Lead Africa (WWLA) GRIOT Masterclass Cohort of 2023, is thrilled to announce that submissions are now open for WWLA Volume 4: Courage, Community, Creativity

This cohort has reminded us that everyday African leadership requires the courage to lead with curiosity and compassion, the empowerment and support of a community, and the creativity to blend the wisdom of our ancestry with a vision for the future.

So we call on you and other everyday African leaders … Share your stories of action, change and transformation. Of courage, community and creativity. Of the everyday work you do for the progress of Africa and African descendant peoples on and off the African continent.

This call, this opportunity, is for you.

What is a Griot?

The Griot, in many West African communities, is the wisdom keeper, historian, repository of knowledge, maintaining the oral tradition of storytelling. 

We see the primary identity of all who join the We Will Lead Africa movement as Griots – capturing and preserving our leadership stories to inspire continued action toward building a more prosperous Africa. We take seriously the great proverb popularized by Chinua Achebe – that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. We believe in the power of storytelling, an inherent part of African cultures, as a tool for imagining, sparking and driving progress. And as a way to inspire more change and shape the futures we want.

The Griot Cohorts thus far represent voices and experiences from 10 African countries (currently, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) and the African diaspora. We are always seeking to expand this, so we encourage you to share your story – and share this call widely across your networks. 

If you are moved by this call, you are a Griot. You do not have to have any previous writing or storytelling experience to submit a story.

Submit your story today

Our 2024 Griot volume will include co-editors from the 2023 Griot Masterclass Series as well as the We Will Lead Africa Editorial Team: Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, Judith Okonkwo, Sarah Owusu and Michelle Mocumbi.

The theme for this volume is Courage, Community, Creativity.

Submit your story through this submission form. See submissions criteria for details.

Submit your story by 17 November 2023.