I realise this is coming years after the actual festival, but: I lost the initial review due to “technical hitches” so you must take this remake in good faith.
So, this year’s Aké Arts and Book Festival took place at the June 12th Cultural Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State from 17 -21st November. It was attended by art lovers, writers, (published and blogging), and what I’ll call bold youth courageous enough to question the mundanity of things. It was a forum for discussion of literary, political, educational and somewhat taboo topics affecting the global community. It garnered a lot of support and attendance from across several continents, and was the perfect place to be geeky in a completely comfortable way. If you want to know more about Aké Festival, please go here http://www.akefestival.org or https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JJlVzqX-ju0
As for me, let me share my personal perspective on the festival. I was an excited child, trying her best to be cool. Apart from visiting a state I’d never previously been to, I got to hobnob (yes, I just thought of the biscuits) with people I would normally only read about. To put it in basic terms, I did quite a lot of famzing 😦 Guys, I fell hand.
First there was Chris Abani. Imagine meeting this amazing-brained man just as I’d gotten halfway through his book! Three words. Ohhhh. Emmm. Gee.
So this was me getting the courage to approach him
My camera is shite, so he helped take this
Approaching him after his master class to get someone else to take a picture of us
Staring fondly at him during the Poetry and Palmwine session
Taking a selfie with Ayo Sogunro after a slightly inappropriate conversation (swear I don’t know how I end up having those)
Capturing Nnedi Okorafor in the Ladies (it was purely coincidental, promise)
Also, having like, real life talks with this amazing strange girl with the lovely voice. Also in the Ladies. Still a coincidence.
Getting Efe Paul to sign my copy of his book
Disturbing Titilope Sonuga during dinner at the party
Copying this painting
Loving this other painting by the same artist (he signs his work with mysterious red dots and the name Adebowale)
Getting carried away staring at this awesome ball outside the Cultural Centre
Realising that it was, indeed, Bimbo Akintola who whizzed past me, before it really registered.
My loot (not big enough. Epp me.)
Ignoring my account balance
And listening to writers explaining their mental processes, even though we all know
So many wonderful views from Olumo Rock
In all, it was a great trip, made better by all the people I spent time with. Shouts out to the Bad Gang I joined – 3 times out of 5 we were whispering inappropriate jokes close to the back of the cinema hall.
In my humble opinion, #AkeFest16 won’t be a terrible idea…
If you haven’t read anything by all these people I’ve mentioned, honestly… I just… You must!