The Ake Arts and Book Festival 2017 will take place at the Arts and Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta on November 14-18, 2017. This year’s theme is “This F-Word” and conversations will focus largely on creative women doing amazing things both on the African continent and beyond.
Time really flies when you are having fun. It was just a few years ago when the word came that there would be a new literary festival called the Ake Arts and Books Festival with Lola Shoneyin as its prime mover. The young festival would go on have some of the most high profile guests and in a short four years has become the most well-known literary shebang from West Africa.
Every year, the festival has been picking a headliner who has been respected in the African literary space for their individual contributions to the scene that we have been growing. Some of the previous headliners include Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for Humanities Prof Niyi Osundare, and local language warrior Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
While the headliner has not been officially announced, we can conjecture that this year’s will be Ama Ata Aidoo. One can infer this from the fact that she was the only one whose book chat has been referenced in the 2017 highlights on the Ake Festival website. The legendary author will be hosted by her daughter and popular literary blogger Kinna Likimani as she speaks about her life, accomplishments and works. If you don’t know anything about Ama Ata Aidoo then I suggest that you leave this blog and never come back.
It won’t only Aidoo who will be at this festival of course although it’s probably worth it to get to Abeokuta just hear her talk. 100 Novelists, poets, dancers, actors, illustrators, activists, musicians, artists and thinkers will be invading the historic city to share their work and their ideas. 14 authors in 7 book chats, 1 art exhibition with 5 incredible female artists, 1 stage play, 1 in-depth interview, school visits, 14 stimulating panel discussions, 4 film screenings, 1 creative writing workshop, 1 music concert with 5 amazing women, a tour of historic sites and a night of poetry performance.
The list of people who will feature comes from all over the world. Here are some of the names those who will be in the birthplace of Wole Soyinka, Moshod Abiola and Fela Kuti. Adebola Rayo, Amara Nicole Okolo, Arit Okpo, Ayisha Osori, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Brymo, Dami Ajayi, Diekara Oloruntoba, Diran Olojo, Emmanuel Iduma, Esther Armah, Femi Oyebode, Giles Foden, Haneefah Adam, Ifeoma Chukwuogo, Isabella Akinseye, Ishmael Beah, Jekein Lato-Unah, Joy Bewaji, Kadaria Ahmed, Kinna Likimani, Kobina Graham, Kola Tubosun, Koleka Putuma, Maïmouna Jallow, Marta Calestino, Marvellous Micheal, Maryam Awaisu, Mazi Nwonwu, Modé Aderinokun, Molara Wood, Nnedi Okorafor, Odafe Atogun, OluTimehin Adegbeye, Poetra Asantewa, Samira Sanusi, Sara Blecher, Toni Kan, Tope Oshin, Wana Udobang, Yolanda Mercy, Yvonne Owuor, Zinzi Clemmons, and Zukiswa Wanner.
So Nigeria and all people can make it to Abeokuta, I suggest that you make plans for that part of the country.