Nigerian writer Lola Shoneyin has said Nigeria needs to beef up her visa processing to enable foreigners come into the country. She said this at a Press briefing for this year’s Ake Books and Arts festival. She complained of how foreigners who have good intention coming into Nigeria find it difficult to get visas. According to her one of last year’s guests couldn’t get a visa to come to Nigeria to participate in the programme and this year some authors are complaining about how challenging it is to get a Nigerian Visa.
Abeokuta capital of Ogun State is to host this year’s festival with the theme “Bridges and Pathway” which will run from the 18th to the 22nd of November. It will focus on building bridges between Africa peoples, especially along language, ethnic and gender lines, and charting new paths with the aim of creating synergy and cultural cross fertilisation on the African continent.
Literary giants expected at the festival include well-known names in Arts and literature such as Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka to Ama Ata Aidoo, MukowaNgugi, NnediOkorafor, OkeyNdibe, Molara Wood amongst others. Actor and Movie Producer, KunleAfolayan will be screening the film October 1 at the festival , a new documentary, made by YabaBadoe about the Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo will also be screened at the Festival. Former President of Nigeria, OlusegunObasanjo is to attend the festival talking about several issues as it relate with Nigeria.
The festival will also feature thirteen panel discussions with interesting topics ranging from “Writing Back/Writing Forward: Representations of Africa in New Fiction”, to be chaired by LizzyAttree who is the Director of Caine Prize
Other activities include master classes on science fiction writing, comic drawing and documentary making from distinguished professionals; art exhibitions; drama displays; documentaries; poetry readings; school visits; and book chats. Ten books have been chosen for discussion, giving the audience the chance to interact with the authors. One of the books up for discussion this year is Children of Paradise written by acclaimed British-Guyanese poet, novelist and playwright Fred D’Aguiar, the novel explores the events surrounding the Jonestown tragedy.
The festival is organized annually by Book Buzz Foundation (BBF), a non-governmental organisation founded by Lola Soneyin. Partners of this year’s festival includes Ogun State government, Etisalat, Access Bank and Annoying Logo while sponsors of this year’s festival Includes Goethe Institute, Peugeot , Lafarage, NNPC Cheveron, Alliance Francais, Ford Foundation, Consulate-General , British Council, Embassy of France , Caine Prize for African Fiction amongst others
With the extraordinary line up guests and interesting range of discussion topics, participants are in for an exciting few days in Abeokuta this year.