Visitors at the 2017 Ake Festival. Credit: Ake Festival Media Team.

The Ake Arts and Book Festival has announced its 2020 theme: “Black Magic.” Founded in 2013 by BookBuzz Foundation director Lola Shoneyin, the festival is the biggest annual gathering of writers in the continent, with panels, performances, book launches, and film screenings taking place over four days. Supported by Sterling Bank, the 2020 showpiece, the event’s eighth, will be its second year in Lagos, since being moved from Abeokuta. It will be held from 22–25 October.

“Whilst envisioning a proud and powerful resurgent identity, we shall explore the expansion of black imagination and black consciousness,” the announcement tweet read. “AkeFest2020 will be an unapologetic reclamation of cosmologies, mythologies and belief systems that have sustained Africa and her Diaspora through millennia of disruption and change. We also seek to celebrate the magic of black people as a locus for interrogating cultural memory, as well as notions of black excellence, resilience and resistance. Our literary focus will be children’s writing and political memoirs.”


The festival’s last two themes were “Black Bodies | Grey Matter,” in 2019, and “Fantastical Futures,” in 2018.

Visit the Ake Festival website.