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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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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young

Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. 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 Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or 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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