The Ake Festival 2020, which runs in Lagos, Nigeria from October 22-25, unveiled its new theme “African Time” on June 6, 2020.
The Ake Arts & Book Festival, popularly known as the Ake Festival, has been running in Nigeria since 2012. Over the period of the festival, lovers of books and the arts in general attend book readings, lively panel discussions, poetry recitals, film screenings, theatre and music performances, and lots more. It has hosted many of the continent’s top writers including eminent personalities like Wole Soyinka, Niyi Osundare, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nuruddin Farah, and Tsitsi Dangarembga as headliners.
On January 28, the organisers announced the festival theme for the 2020 edition, to be hosted at the Alliance Francaise in Lagos, as “Black Magic” with its principal sponsors as Sterling Bank. On April 6, the festival announced that as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic it shall be happening online.
On June 6, the festival organisers unveiled a new theme. The announcement on their Twitter stated, “Our world has changed forever. And when the world turns, we turn with it. The magnitude of recent world events cannot be ignored. We have therefore decided to change the theme for the 8th edition of Ake Arts & Book Festival to AFRICAN TIME.”
Our world has changed forever. And when the world turns, we turn with it. The magnitude of recent world events cannot be ignored. We have therefore decided to change the theme for the 8th edition of Ake Arts & Book Festival to AFRICAN TIME. pic.twitter.com/zPWlDA0QCL
— AkeArts&BookFestival (@akefestival) June 5, 2020
This we assume to be in line with the recent upsurge of the global “Black Lives Matter” movement that was sparked by the murder of US citizen George Floyd by police on May 25, Africa Day. The festival has for many years dealt with the issue of blackness in the world and even had a memorable panel in 2016 you can watch in full below.