Sefi Atta

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Sefi Atta (born 1964) is a prize-winning Nigerian author and playwright.[1]


Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in January 1964, to a family of five children. Her father Abdul-Aziz Atta was the Secretary to Federal Government and Head of the Civil Service until his death in 1972, and she was raised by her mother Iyabo Atta.

She attended Queen's College, Lagos, and Millfield School in England. In 1985, she graduated from Birmingham University. She qualified as a chartered accountant in England and as CPA in the United States. She is married to Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and son of Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. They have one daughter.

Sefi's Lagos-based production company Atta Girl supports Care to Read, a program she initiated to earn funds for legitimate charities through staged readings.

She currently divides her time between Nigeria, England and the United States.


Atta graduated from the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Los Angeles Review, Mississippi Review and World Literature Today. Her books have been translated to several languages.


Short-story collections

Stage plays

  • 2014 Last Stand, Terra Kulture, Lagos
  • 2012 An Ordinary Legacy, The MUSON Festival, MUSON Centre, Lagos
  • 2012 The Naming Ceremony, New World Nigeria, Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
  • 2011 Hagel auf Zamfara, Theatre Krefeld, Germany
  • 2011 The Cost of Living, Lagos Heritage Festival, Terra Kulture, Lagos
  • 2005 The Engagement, MUSON Centre, Lagos

Radio plays

  • 2013 The Wake, Smooth FM, Lagos
  • 2007 A Free Day, BBC Radio
  • 2004 Makinwa's Miracle, BBC Radio
  • 2002 The Engagement, BBC Radio


  • 2009 Leaving on Your Mind - quarter-finalist for the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest

Selected awards and recognition[edit]

Visiting Writer

Atta was on the jury for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.[2]

A critical study of her works, Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition, edited by Professor Walter Collins, will be published by Cambria Press in 2015.


  1. ^ Sefi Atta - Short bio - Q&A (panellist) - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - (27 August 2012) - Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  2. ^ Jury & candidates for 2010 Neustadt Prize, announced March 2009.

External links[edit]