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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 deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. 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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