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My Ake festival experience ‘016

Ake this year was live!
Hi awesome reader. What’s up?

How have you been?

What’s been going on?

Has life for you been as difficult as it has been for me? I hope not.

As much as it’s been difficult, I’ve also had good times. One of which was Ake which ended exactly a week ago.

The Ake Arts and book festival is an annual event hosted by the good people of Book Buzz foundation in collaboration with the Ogun state government. Read more on their website here. If you missed it or you’ve never even heard about it, videos to the whole event would be up on their YouTube soon. I’ll drop a link once it comes through.

Ake Festival Experience '016 - Kuyetasham

Day 3

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Day 4

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

What’s Ake all about? Like the name, it’s all about the arts! Book chats, good music, spoken word, panel discussions, poetry, drama, sale of good books e.t.c.

Does all this happen in a day?

Of course not. Won’t it be too much to handle?  Ake is usually a 5 days event i.e Tuesday till Saturday. Mostly in the middle of November.

But here’s the downside to going for Ake. As fun as it can be, you better be ready to spend well unless. You have someone sponsoring you then you’re good. Lucky for me. My sister covered most of my bills! Perks of being the younger one.
Since Ake is hosted in Abeokuta of Ogun state, you’ll have to find yourself a hotel accommodation or atleast someone to stay with if you don’t live in Ogun. (the later is a cheaper option)

Next thing you’ll be thinking about is feeding yourself.

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Lastly and most money consuming, books! If you can’t take your eyes off books, you better be ready to break your bank account.

Books at Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

My Ake stack.

What does Ake have to offer to a non literature enthusiast?

You don’t read so much or not atall? As long as you’re attentive at the panel discussions, bookchats etc. When you hear this beautiful minds interact, you’ll be compelled to pick up a book and who knows. From that one book, your reading history may begin. If you don’t pay attention, there’s still something for you. You get to network because there are hundreds of people coming from different parts of the world every year to attend Ake.

What does Ake have for literary lovers??

Everything! You get to finally hear the author of that book you’ve read bring that book to life right in front of you. You get to hopefully finally meet your writer crush like I did. (Hi Teju Cole :*)  You get to take a selfie with writers of books you’ve read. How nice would it be to get your book autographed by the writer? Ake can make that happen! And it’s honestly very exciting.

On a plus side, Ake gives you time off all the business of your life and you get to relax in a home away from home.

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham x Nanzing

Ake hosted the likes of Teju Cole, Toni Kan, Noviolet Bulawayo, Helon Habila, Pierre Cherruau, Chinelo Okparanta, Wana Udobang, Odafe Atogun, Jowhor Ile, Tendai Huchu, Panashe Chigumadzi, Sarah Ladipo, Yewande Omotosho, Jennifer Makumbi, Okey Ndibe, Titilope Sonuga, Falana, Brymo Olawale, great Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and a host of other great minds. (Denrele was supposed to show but we didn’t hear anything)

Okey Ndibe interviews Ngugi Wa Thiong'o at the Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Okey Ndibe interviews Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

What Ake brought to me?

Ake brought Titilope to me, Brymo, Teju Cole etc. Ake brought me good food and fine palmwine.

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham x Brymo Olawale

Brymo Olawale

Palmwine and poetry night at Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Palmwine and poetry night

Ake got my legs shaking after my climb to the last point of the famous Olumo rock.

Olumo Rock climb at the Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Olumo Rock

Ake brought me fine books.

Ake got most of my books signed by the authors.

Book signing at Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Trying to get my books signed

Book signing at the Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham

Ake brought beautiful people my way. I made only a few friends since I’m not the type to typically connect. I’m glad I met Al-amin, Shettima, Lulu, Taiwo, Nazi, Sa’edd e.t.c (it’s  a slightly long list)

I have a list of recommendations from the several categories at Ake. Check them out whenever you have the chance.

Short film: Salt, Hissene Habre: A Chadian tragedy

Play: Iyalode of Eti


Artist: Falana

Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham x Falana


Falana at the Ake Festival 2016 - Kuyetasham


Books: We need new names, The chibok girls, And after many days, Taduno’s song(inspired by Fela’s music) , the Maestro The Magistrate and the Mathematician, Happiness Like Water, Open City, Bomboy, Independence, Foreign gods, Nights of the creaking bed, Never look at American in the eyes and Teju Cole’s short essays called Known and Strange things.
All the pictures taken with my phone were a mess but I’ll put up official photos as soon as I get a hold of them.

Thanks for reading this.

I hope your weekend went off to a great start yesterday??


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