Lagos Art & Books Festival 2021

The Lagos Art & Books Festival 2021, popularly known as Labaf, runs in Lagos, Nigeria and online from November 15-21, 2021. The literary shindig with the theme “A Fork in The Road” is dedicated to Taiwo Ajai-Lycett who turns 80 this year.

The Lagos Book & Art Festival is an annual arts festival founded by the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), a Nigerian-based cultural organisation in 1999. They have been hosting activities like musical performances, book readings and launches, film screenings, a publishers’ forum, book and art exhibitions, panel discussions, symposiums, cultural exhibitions and much more for the last twenty-two years. In 2020, the festival went online as a result of the global pandemic that we were all under.

The festival this year is set to thrill bibliophiles in Nigeria and across the world with a hybrid live and virtual offering. It is divided into three segments with the Main Festival (Adult), Children/Students Segment, and Youths Segment recognising that there needs to be different offerings for different age groups. On offer are panel conversations, exhibitions, workshops, drama, poetry, dance, films as well as book launches.

Taiwo Ajai-Lycett
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett

Some of the highlights of the festival include events celebrating Nigerian actress, journalist, television presenter, and cosmetologist Taiwo Ajai-Lycett who turns 80. She was the first editor of Africa Woman magazine in the 1970s. There will also be a keynote by Kunle Ajibade, writer, journalist, author of Jailed for Life.

A variety of people in the literary ecosystem for the period of the festival that include writers, poets, academics, literary enthusiasts, bookshop founders, linguists and everyone in between feature. They include Ani Kayode Somtochukwu the winner of the Maiden James Currey Prize for Literature; Dr. Sola Ogunfuwa; Toni Kan; Rufus Onaopemipo, MD, Lumbooks, owner book club, bookstore; Iquo DianaAbasi, writer, literary activist; Farida LAdipo-Ajayi, founder, Bookwork Cafe; Dotun Eyinade, co-founder, Roving Heights Books; Princess Abumere, Convener, The Sunshine Book Club; Amara Chimeka, Publisher, Purple Shelves; Funmi Ilori, founder/CEO, i-READ Mobile Library; Ademola Akinfolami, writer, literary enthusiast; Wale Okediran, writer, Sec-Gen, Pan-Africa Writers Association; Kola Tubosun, writer, translator; Dele Farotimi, writer, polemicist, lawyer; Tade Ipadeola, Poet, lawyer; Dr. Yinka Oyegbile, writer, journalist; Ralph Tathagata, poet, critic, journalist; and many more.

For the full program, please click here.