Books, music and travel. These are a few of the things that make my life better. A love for these three things is one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me, so I was thrilled to be able to go to my hometown for Ake Festival, an annual arts and books festival. This year's theme was "This F-Word." Yup, we're not tired of talking about feminism.
If you're subscribed, you know in my last newletter I promised to give you all the Festival gist, so here it is! If you're not subscribed, you should be!! :)
I was invited to Ake by its convener, Lola Shoneyin, to host a book chat with two amazing authors, Dayo Olopade and Alexis Okeowo, both of whom wrote non-fiction books: The Bright Continent (Dayo) and A Moonless, Starless Sky (Alexis). I've linked both books, so please take a look and support by buying: I promise they are worth it!
As I mentioned, this year's theme was "This F-Word" and the conversations focused on creative women doing truly phenomenal things in and outside the continent. From book chats to storytelling, to plays, a concert, cultural tours and workshops, it was five days of great energy and immense value. Honestly, it was magical. I don't want to ramble, so let the pictures do their work :)
My Ake in pictures...
Pictures from my Book Chat
The pictures from my Book Chat are courtesy of the Ake Festival media team, and more pictures can be viewed here.
It was honestly just an amazing experience, being surrounded by so many creative, talented women, many of whom I was too shy to grab selfies with, and others with whom the conversations were so great I forgot to get a photo after talking. I met Bim Adewunmi, Hannah Pool, Leyla Hussein, Mona Eltahawy, Aduke Gomez, Samira Sanusi, Peju Alatise, Timehin Adegbeye and so many more. Special shoutout to my homegirl Arit Okpo and the #PoolsidePanel, our very own special Ake Fest sidebar show! I loved that I got to experience something completely different, but not so different that it felt alien to me. I felt so at home. There were so many events, but another favorite was a short film festival and Q&A with the female powerhouses behind them, moderated by my friend Arit Okpo, during which we watched three shorts (Bariga Sugar, Through Her Eyes, and Unbroken), all of which were engaging and thought-provoking. I look forward to next year's experience, and hope I can stay for the entire event. I had to leave a day early and missed the legendary Ama Ata Aidoo, which I'm still quite sad about. All in all, magic! Book and culture lovers across Africa, this is definitely a place for you and here's to plenty more of it!
If you've been to Ake, share your experience, and if not, is it something you'd like to attend? Why/why not? Comment, like, share, all that good stuff! And don't forget to scroll down and subscribe if you haven't already!