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The 2017 Ake Arts and Book Festival took place from 14–18 November 2017, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. One of the event’s attractions was a roundtable conversation involving the participants of the Cameroon-Nigeria Literary Exchange Program—a collaboration between Nigeria’s Saraba magazine and Cameroun’s Bakwa magazine and sponsored by the Goethe Institut offices in Lagos and Yaounde—which took place in Limbe, Cameroun.

The conversation opened with Emmanuel Iduma, editor of Saraba, reading the bios of the ten participants: Adeosun Adams Abayomi, Ajinomoh Ozovehe Caleb, Donna Coco Nsofor, Sada Malumfashi and Socrates Mbamalu from Nigeria; and Godwin Luba, Howard Meh-Buh Maximus, Murielle Simone Wonja, Nkiacha Atemnkeng and Raoul Djimeli from Cameroon. Iduma then spoke briefly about the origins of Saraba. Dzekashu MacViban, editor of Bakwa, explained the need for the literary renaissance spearheaded by Bakwa in Anglophone Cameroun.

Each participant read from their works-in-progress and answered questions from the audience—why they write nonfiction, how tasking nonfiction has been for them.

Here are photos from the event.

Photos by Ake Festival Media Team.

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Otosirieze Nnaemekaram is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop facilitated by Giles Foden. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories and is working on a 600-page novel. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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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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