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From left to right: Tunde Jegede, Natalia Molebatsi, and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

The second annual Mboka Festival of Arts, Culture and Sports took place in The Gambia from 6 to 20 January 2018. The event, a celebration of Gambian cultural heritage and African diasporic heritage, was a collaboration between Camp Africa, Global Hands and SABLE Publications. The name “Mboka” is Wolof for “one family.”

The first edition of the Mboka Festival happened from 7 to 17 January 2017, and had Ngugi wa Thiong’o as the guest of honour. This second edition featured a literary, book and visual arts fair, an academic conference, a chef competition, as well as wrestling, bike challenge and marathons.

The photos below, by Lena Nian Photography, are from the performance poetry session by the poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, the jazz poet Natalia Molebatsi, and the kora player Tunde Jegede.

Take a look.

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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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