The Ake Festival 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria from October 25 – 27 will feature a battery of guests from across the African world of books and the arts led by festival headliner Nuruddin Farah. As earlier announced, the theme this year will be “fantastical futures.”
The Ake Arts and Book Festival is organised by the Book Buzz Foundation, Nigeria, an organisation founded by teacher, poet, and writer, Lola Shoneyin. The festival now in its sixth year showcases the very best of contemporary African literature, poetry, music, art, film, and theatre. This year it moves from its traditional home of Abeokuta in Ogun State to Lagos principally at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
The list of those who will be attending the events in the West African financial hub can rightly be described as the who’s who of the world of books and arts on the continent and further afield. It will feature folks from the East, West, North, and South both young and young at heart starting with festival headliner Nuruddin Farah. Farah is the author behind books like Territoires (2000), From a Crooked Rib (2003), and Hiding in Plain Sight (2014). His latest book is North of Dawn published by Riverhead Books this year.
Some of those who will be eating suya in Lagos in a few days are Ayesha Harruna Attah, Chibundu Onuzo, Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, Dami Ajayi, Femi Elufowoju Jr, Frankie Edozien, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Molara Wood, Mona Eltahawy, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Nana Ekua Brew Hammond, Nick Makoha, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Panashe Chigumadzi, Niq Mhlongo, Nnedi Okorafor, Odafe Atogun, Paul Beatty, Yejide Kilanko, Peter Kimani, Sefi Atta, Toni Kan, Wana Udobang, and Zukiswa Wanner. You can check out the whole list of participants here.
So what will they be doing in Lagos besides eating Suya? As we have seen in the last few years expect master classes and workshops in various aspects of performance art, visual art, drama, fashion, music, film, dance, and writing.
Apart from these there are the book chats and panels. Some of the dare-not-miss events include an interview into the Life and Times of festival headliner Nuruddin Farah hosted by Kunle Ajibade. Also to be checked out are “The Future of Poetry” featuring Theresa Lola, Wana Udobang, Inua Ellams, Logan February, and Ishion Hutchinson moderated by Dami Ajayi. Then there is “What do Women Want?” featuring Elizabeth Uviebinene, Yomi Adegoke, and festival favourite Mona Eltahawy moderated by Wana Udobang. Also looking good is the “The Journey of African Literature” panel featuring Mukoma wa Ngugi, Nana Brew-Hammond, and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi moderated by Nii Ayikwei-Parkes.
The Sunday evening will have poetry performances by Nick Makoha, Ishion Hutchinson, Saddiq Dzukogi Theresa Lola, Nastio Mosquito, and Nii Ayikwei-Parkes.
If you are in Lagos and have any love for the written word, I suggest that you make your way to the event venue on those three days.