So you heard about Ebola and how it is terrorising the Western part of this continent no? Well its concerning many people who want to head to that part of our rock for whatever reason. Well even the literature world is not spared as two of the biggest literary festivals were lined up for Nigeria; The Ake Festival of arts and the Port Harcourt festival.
The folks at the Ake festival emailed all international guests that they need not worry about coming to their event as they are at Ogun state which is quite a few kilometres from Lagos (or Port Harcourt) where all the health drama is happening. So if you are planning on going for Ake you are assured of your safety as you go through. Assuming you can get a flight if you are from Kenya.
If you are to go to the country there is much working for that festival as it has a great line up of artists to dance for you as they sing for their supper. There are quite a few so I can’t honestly give you a full understanding of who each of them are. One of them is Abubakar Adam Ibrahim whose debut collection of short stories, The Whispering Trees, is published in Nigeria by Parresia Publishers, Lagos. We here at JamesMurua.com fondly remember him for joining us for a Google Hangout while over at Writivism. Top chap.
Also on the card is Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva the lady who is almost single-handedly (with the held of hands of a few friends – single hands too) changing the face of Uganda poetry with her BN poetry Award. If you want to learn more about the poetry genre this is a great lady to help you on your way.
who seems to be the heir apparent of the Kwani school of travelling to book fairs without having written your own book will also be a guest at the show is the Kenyan at the event with his book Madman at Kilifi (African Poetry Book).
Then there is Jude Dibia who has written several books one which is called Walking with Shadows and has been reviewed on this very blog. Another victim of the reviews on this blog and that will be featuring at Ake are South African Siphiwo Mahala his book African Delights and South African/Zimbabwean/Zambian/Kenyan/Outer Mongolian/Other Generic Identity Zukiswa Wanner for her book Men of the South.
Another really cool writer is Nigerian Nnedi Okorafor who was recently listed as one of the 7 Black Women Science Fiction Writers Everyone Should Know. That’s a pretty cool list so if you are in that part of the country you don’t want to miss it.
Representing the Caine Prize will be Lizzy Attree who spends a lot to time defending her prize from the “haters” but that doesn’t prevent them from popping up and taking pot shots at what is turning out to be one of the most well known in recent times.
So there you are. A brilliant artist line up. Don’t say you were never told.
Now we await for Port Harcourt to issue their an assurance on the Ebola freeness of their festival.