Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."
Wole Soyinka and a young fan.

Wole Soyinka and a young fan.

If you are a lover of books and the arts, I guess it wouldn’t be news to you that Christmas came early this year for the universe of African Literature. The 2015 edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival was held from the 18th to 22nd of November at Abeokuta, a south-western city in Nigeria.

The festival featured book chats, photo exhibitions, panel discussions on topical issues, films, dance, poetry, etc.

What made Ake spectacular was not just that it hosted dignitaries and giants of the African literati but that it accommodated an interesting blend of people who otherwise could be referred to as ‘frienemies’.

On one end, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, on the other Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. Same with author Bingyavanga Wainana and Caine director Lizzy Attree.

Discussions and chats at the festival were insightful and more than once, Ake shut down social media-sphere with interesting controversies. First writer E. E. Sule spoke about religious fanatism and violence in Nigeria, suggesting that the concept of God be suspended entirely throughout the country.

Then Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi joked about his plans to steal a lot of money before leaving office. And of course, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo reiterated his support for the nation’s anti-gay law, which resulted in online activists declaring him a homophobe.

Amidst all these, Ake supplied its attendees with undiluted clean fun. Bassey Ikpi dazzled us with her poetry as we sipped fresh palm wine and Kunle Afolayan shared his experience in collecting vintage cars. Toni Kan showed us how to flirt like a gent and Amu Nnadi tutored us in drinking. Liberian author Hawa Golokai learnt the Nigerian dance Shoki and Dro Edwige taught us how Cote d’Ivorians party. Wole Soyinka made us laugh heartily by mimicking the way Olusegun Obasanjo speaks, and Molara Wood captivated us with her beautiful newspaper dress.

There isn’t enough space to tell all the fun that Ake was, and it is needless to say that Lola Shoneyin pulled off the biggest and best African literature festival of the year at Abeokuta.

I will let the pictures tell more and leave you with this: “Miss not, next year’s”.

 

{All the images are courtesy SixthFrame Photography, TOJ photography, and Victor Ehikhamenor}

akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-6

akefestival2014-4

ake-festival-2014-obasanjo-2

akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-5

akefestival2014-27ake-festival-2014-obasanjo-7

akefestival2014-31akefestival2014-17akefestival2014-13akefestival2014-34akefestival2014-7akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-13akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-18akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-11akefestival2014-47akefestival2014-29akefestival2014-9akefestival2014-25akefestival2014-20akefestival20142akefestival2014-35akefestival2014-48akefestival2014-46akefestival2014-40akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-3akefestival2014-ehikhamenor-1akefestival2014-37akefestival2014-33akefestival2014-30

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. African Writers Never Looked So Good! | See the Stunning Photo Shoot at Ake Arts and Book Festival | Brittle Paper - December 3, 2014

    […] little bit of that happened, as I hear from the grape vine. Click HERE to get the scoop on the […]

  2. Memories from Ake (i): Okey and the Students « ktravula – a travelogue! - December 3, 2014

    […] it important this year to involve a linguist with but a finger or two in the literary pie in a festival of poets, writers and other makers of creative ideas. (Fake modesty out of the way, it was a beautiful, engaging, and stimulating event of which I was […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Luna Press’ Harvester Series Includes New Collections by Wole Talabi and Nick Woods

wole talabi book

As part of its Harvester Series, a publication programme for collections of old and new stories plus bonus material, the […]

Tade Thompson Wins Arthur C Clarke Award, for Rosewater, the First Novel in His Wormwood Trilogy

tade thompson - rosewater - graph - while reading and walking

The Nigerian writer and psychiatrist Tade Thompson has won the 2019 Arthur C Clarke Award, the UK’s premier honour for […]

In Her Debut Memoir, Bassey Ikpi Deepens Our Understanding of Mental Health by Sharing Her Own Journey

bassey ikpi - graph image - david asumah

In 2004, while on tour with Def Poetry Jam, the Nigerian poet and spoken word artist Bassey Ikpi was diagnosed […]

Wo̩lé S̩óyinká’s Forthcoming Book, His 50th at Age 85, Looks at the Aesthetics, Traditions, & Histories of African Art

wole soyinka - beyond aesthetics

Fresh from celebrations for his 85th birthday days ago, Wo̩lé S̩óyinká has a new book coming. An expansion of his […]

Royal African Society: The UK Home Office Visa Service Discriminating Against Africans

Royal African Society - UK visa (2)

The following is a press release by the Royal African Society.  Home Office Visa Service Discriminating Against Africans “Home Office […]

The Auditory Art of Storytelling in A Small Silence | Reviews by Ainehi

jumoke verissimo a small silence (1)

  A Small Silence is the debut novel by Nigerian poet Jumoke Verissimo. The story is sad, funny, and inspiring […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.