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Nurrudin Farah. Photo credit:

The 2018 Ake Arts and Book Festival begins today. Themed “Fantastical Futures,” this year’s event, moved to Lagos from Abeokuta where it had always been held, will focus on a reimagined Africa and will last from October 24 – 27. The festival is headlined by Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah, whose newest, 14th novel is North of Dawn, and features as guests such names as Nnedi Okorafor; Paul Beatty, author of the Booker Prize 2016 winner The Sellout; Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, author of Kintu; Ishion Hutchinson, author of the 2016 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Poetry winner House of Lords and Commons; Chike Frankie Edozien, author of the LAMBDA-winning Lives of Great Men, the first memoir by a gay Nigerian; and Mona Eltahawy. 

Nnedi Okorafor, shown here attending the 2018 Emmy Awards (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Founded in 2013 by Lola Shoneyin—author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and Brittle Paper‘s African Literary Person of the Year for 2017—and organised by her Book Buzz Foundation, the Ake Arts and Book Festival is the biggest annual gathering of African literary writers, founders, editors, critics, readers, everybody on the continent. The festival has proven quite the attraction for activists, musicians, dancers, actors, illustrators, and a range of artists and thinkers who storm the event to share their ideas and work.

Mona Eltahaway. Image from VICE via Google.

Other guests include Ayesha Harruna Attah, author of The Hundred Wells of Salaga, who is shortlisted for the 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Essays & Think Pieces; Panashe Chigumadzi, author of These Bones Will Rise Again, who is shortlisted for the 2018 Brittle Paper Award for Essays & Think Pieces; Mukoma Wa Ngugi, author of The Rise of the African Novel; Peter Kimani, author of Dance of the Jakaranda; Chibundu Onuzo; Nozizwe Cynthia Jele; Dami Ajayi; Femi Elufowoju Jr.; Molara Wood; Nana Ekua Brew Hammond; Nick Makoha; Nii Ayikwei Parkes; Niq Mhlongo; Odafe Atogun; Yejide Kilanko; Sefi Atta; Toni Kan; Wana Udobang; and Zukiswa Wanner, novelist and founder of La Shamba magazine.

Jennifer Makumbi, author of Kintu.

Chike Frankie Edozien, author of Lives of Great Men.

Haruna Ayesha Attah.

The 2018 Ake Festival will be held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

Visit the Ake Festival Website for more information.

Read our coverage of the festival’s previous years:

Read: Ake Festival Journal: Day 1 | Nmadiuto Uche

Read: Ake Festival Journal: Day 2 | Nmadiuto Uche

Read: Ake Festival Journal: Day 3 | Nmadiuto Uche

Read: How I Found My Greatness: Reflections on the 2016 Ake Arts and Book Festival | Nnamdi Ehirim

Read: Chronicles of Ake: A Firsthand Account from Nigeria’s Biggest Literary Festival

Read: Ake Festival 2016: A Musicaliterary Concert | Nmadiuto Uche

Read: My Ake Festival Video on the African Literary Scene is Out!

Read: African Writers Never Looked So Good! | See the Stunning Photo Shoot at Ake Arts and Book Festival

Read: President Obasanjo Hangs Out with Writers at Ake Festival


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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, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

2 Responses to “Ake Festival 2018 Begins, Headlined by Nuruddin Farah, Featuring Paul Beatty, Nnedi Okorafor, Jennifer Makumbi, Frankie Edozien, Mona Eltahawy” Subscribe

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