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November last year, I was in Abeokuta attending the Ake Art and Books Festival. Last year’s festival was themed “Engaging the Fringe,” and I was invited in my capacity as a literary blogger to contribute to conversations around new trends in African literature.

It was an amazing experience, to say the least. I listened to enriching talks and panels on African literature. I also had the chance to facilitate live interview sessions with Chris Abani, Taiye Selasi, E. C. Osondu, Igoni Barrett, and Nnedi Okorafor.


{You can find a more detailed account of my experience here.}

In the midst of this whirlwind of activities, I sat down to chat with the festival’s media team. The video was posted on Youtube over the weekend. [see below] Watching the video reminded me of how much fun I had chatting with the interviewer. In the video, I talk about my assessment of the contemporary African literary scene and briefly touch on the influence of Soyinka and the Yoruba literary tradition on my work.

Enjoy watching and make sure to share!


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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

3 Responses to “My Ake Festival Video on the African Literary Scene is Out!” Subscribe

  1. Okeke Okechi 2016/05/02 at 9:15 am #

    This is fabulous! Infact, you’re comestible. Did i say that? Of course. Everything; your appearance, the words that dance out of your mouth. They all make the video a passionate pie to chew, again and again.

  2. Abubakar-Sadiq Obatomi 2016/05/03 at 3:54 am #

    An African Literary event and you all are dressed in European fashion.
    Call me petty but the subliminal message here is the reason why Africa (and its literature) isn’t getting the quality of attention it deserves.

  3. Adefemi Adejola 2016/05/03 at 1:28 pm #

    I love this video. Beautiful ideas from lovely hard working intelligent lady (Ainiehi Edoro). I love every bit of the video including the dressing. This is without prejudice to Obatomi. He is entitled to his opinion of course.
    My take: The intellectual output is it. Sometimes the hood does not make the monk and sometimes the hood makes the monk – it is neither here nor there! The Yoruba will say “aso nla ko l’eeyan nla sugbon nigba mii aso nla l’eeyan nla nitori baa se rin laa ko’ni”. Transliteration – big garment does not make the big man but sometimes big garment connotes big man because it is the way we package ourselves that determine the quality of impression we create.
    Moreover the focus should be the content. Dwelling on the dressing is a definite distraction. That’s me – my views.
    I think it will not be out of place to also use this opportunity to appreciate Ainiehi – Thanks a lot Ainiehi for the great work you are doing through Brittle Paper. You are a significant inspiration and deserve every appreciation, encomium and encouragement. Please keep up the good work.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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