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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 a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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