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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 is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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