At this moment people are flying into Nigeria from all over world headed to Abeokuta; they are all coming to that city a couple of hours away from Lagos to attend the Ake Festival 2015.
The Ake Festival was born in 2013 and it has quickly become the go to festival to meet African and black names we all knoww in the writing business. They will be there to participate in panels, book chats, workshops, art exhibitions, films, plays, documentaries and poetry. A very cool part of this event is the creatives are going to be going to local schools to meet kids no doubt inspiring the next generation of readers and writers.
The theme of the festival is ‘Engaging the Fringe’ which means that conversations and dialogue will focus on genres and creative endeavor that are not regarded as ‘mainstream’ in spite of their growing popularity and availability.
So who are the guests at the event? Over 83 writers from all over world from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the US, the UK and many more will feature. Some of the names featuring will include A Igoni Barrett, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Siphiwo Mahala, Rachel Zadok, Tendai Huchu, Ainehi Edoro , Veronique Tadjo, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Zukiswa Wanner. For the first time this year Binyavanga Wainaina will be missing from the festival as he is attending to his health right now in India. We wish him the best in his treatment and recovery.
The festival headliner is the erudite Prof Niyi Osundare who has won every prize that could be won in a career spanning decades. This blogger met him at the Hargeysa International Book Fair earlier in the year and I can promise those at the festival that they are in for a treat.
Away from the mingling of writers the will be some other cool events happening. This festival for instance is where the winner of Short Story Day Africa 2015 will be announced from the shortlist announced earlier in the year.
This festival is where we shall also know the people who will be participating in next year’s Writivism’s workshop the continent.