Ngugi Wa Thiong’o will be the headline guest at this year’s edition of Ake Festival 2016. Ngugi, who will sit in conversation with Okey Ndibe about his life and work, will be joined by a galaxy of stars in the African literary space. This year’s edition is themed “Beneath this Skin.’
15-19 November 2016 are the dates for what has become the biggest literary bash in West Africa and one of the top five on the continent. An outstanding roster of writers, thinkers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, book lovers and art enthusiasts will be on hand to celebrate at the fourth edition of the Ake Arts and Book Festival 2016. As has been happening in the previous three years, the events will all happen at the Arts and Culture Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
The festival will also host 9 book chats which will feature 18 authors like Alain Mabanckou, Helon Habila, Laila Lalami, Petina Gappah, Teju Cole, Panashe Chigumadzi, Tendai Huchu, Chinelo Okparanta, Noviolet Bulawayo, Jowhor Ile, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Odafe Atogun, Tade Thompson, Toni Kan and many more. Does it get any better ladies and gentlemen?
Apart from the book chats, there will be panels engaging both new voices and established ones focusing on identities, race, gender, mental health in fiction, the rise and fall of African economies. The festival will also explore exciting genres such as erotica, horror fiction, and prison stories.
Then there are two art exhibitions featuring the work of Laolu Senbanjo whose “Sacred Art of the Ori” featured on Beyonce’s latest album Lemonade and Fatima Abubakar who captures the lives of the people of Borno State in a stunning series of photographs. An acoustic music concert with Brymo, Falana, Adunni and Nefertiti will also entertain the audience at the Festival.
Film is not left out with a showing of official festival offering is documentary Hissene Habre: A Chadian Tragedy, an account of the horror inflicted on the Chadian people during Hissen Habre’s rule. Also premiering is a Festival of Short Films to celebrate this form of visual storytelling and the people who are fuelling its rapid growth in Nigeria. The short films to be screened are: A Mother’s Journey by Sade Adeniran, No Good Turn by Udoka Oyeka and Salt by Umar Turaki.
Apart from cinema, there be showing of stage adaptation of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. This unmissable play, directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, will feature an incredible cast of siners and Tickets for this event can be purchased here.
Then there are the workshops for the next generation. Noviolet Bulawayo, Helon Habila and Sarah Ladipo Manyika will teach Fiction Writing, Inya Lawal and Victoria Thomas of The Story Republic teach Script-Writing while Sebastian Loerscher shares on Graphic Short Stories.
At the much-anticipated Palm Wine and Poetry Evening, attendees will enjoy outstanding performances by, poets like Titilope Sonuga, Lebo Mashile, Ogaga Ifowodo, Micheal Kelleher and Dike Chukwumerije, while sipping on a calabash of deliciously fresh palm wine.
So there you have it. A small number of the events that will be happening at the Ake Festival this year. If you are in Nigeria you don’t have an excuse as to why you would miss out on such a literary feast.