Ake Festival 2016 opening ceremony

A snapshot of the Ake Arts and Books Festival 2016 (throwback)

With the Ake Festival 2017 starting tomorrow, it’s only right that we give you a snapshot of the Ake Arts and Books Festival 2016.

If you consume social media more than at least half an hour a day and you follow people in the African literary scene, you will see something from many of them. They have over the last few days been headed to Nigeria to take part in probably what is the best known literary festival in Western Africa. Here is a sample from Egyptian feminist, author and public speaker Mona Eltahawy from her Twitter as an example of this exodus.

They are going to Abeokuta, the hometown of Fela Kuti and Wole Soyinka, to attend the Ake Arts and Books Festival.

We have already spoken about this festival earlier in the year as they unveiled their theme The F-Word and many of their guests including headliner Ama Ata Aidoo. The festival will see names like 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.

With these guests about to wow those who will be lucky enough to be in Abeokuta, let’s look back at last year’s version of the festival which had a very full program. Now usually we will do a text look over of the events but this time we will do even better. We will be sharing video from the festival of what happened. This is broken as opening and closing ceremonies, book chat and panels. Enjoy.

Opening Ceremony



Closing night

Book Chats

Yewande Omotoso and Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Alain Mabanckou and Okey Ndibe moderated by Kola Tubosun (Starts at 6:32)

Helon Habila and Teju Cole moderated by Kadaria Ahmed (Starts 1:30)

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Noviolet Bulawayo moderated by Kinna Likimani

Jowhor ile and Odafe Otagun moderated by Dami Ajayi (Starts at 21:42)

Chinelo Okparanta and Panashe Chigumadzi moderated by Ayodele Morocco-Clarke (Starts at 4:40)

Toni Kan and Leye Adenle moderated by Tendai Huchu

Laila Lalami and Tendai Huchu moderated by Zukiswa Wanner (Starts 2:15)



Prison stories and literature of resistance with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Kunle Ajibade moderated by Molara Wood. (Starts at 3:00)

Exploring mental health with Adebola Rayo and Lidudumalingani Mqombothi moderated by Dami Ajayi

The irony of Black Lives Matter in Africa: Helon Habila, Panashe Chigumadzi, Aisha Osori, Kinna Likimani moderated by Patrick Okigbo.

Women in post Boko Haram reality with Chitra Nagarajan, Fatima Abubakar, and Andrew Walker moderated by Kadaria Ahmed.

Placement and displacement in African writing with Yewande Omotoso and Sarah Ladipo Manyika moderated by Wana Udobang.



Legs open, eyes closed: Sensuality in new African writing with Toni Kan, Kiiri Taye, Nana Darkoa, and Chinelo Okparanta moderated by Kolade Arogundade

Guest interviews



















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