Ake Arts And Book Festival 2015

The third edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival will take place at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto-Abeokuta, from 17-21 November, 2015. The theme is Engaging the Fringe and dialogue will focus on the genres and creative endeavor that do not get the same attention as Art forms considered as mainstream. This year, we will also be exploring topics about African life and living in Africa in an honest, open and constructive way.

The Ake Arts and Book Festivalwill once again host African writers, artists, filmmakers and thinkers from all over the world to advance on our goals to develop, promote and celebrate creativity on the African continent, on African turf. As such, we will showcase the very best of contemporary African literature, music, art, film and theatre.

The festival will feature 8 book chats, 3 art exhibitions, 1 play, 2 in-depth interviews, school visits, 18 stimulating panel discussions, 3documentary screenings, 2 films screenings and a poetry performance event. In addition, we run a large bookstore which is open to booksellers, book lovers, pupils and students who benefit from Governor’s grants.


Renowned poet and writer, Professor Niyi Osundare will sit in conversation with author and editor, Kunle Ajibade. Dr Olaokun Soyinka will sit with Angolan writer and TV host Imanni Da Sylva and in a panel moderated by Kadaria Ahmed, Governor Nasir El-rufai will talk about Minding The Business of Africa with Howard French of the New York Times. 


16 books will be discussed in 8 book chats;

Maaza Mengiste’s Beneath the Lions Gaze, Pius Adesanmi’s Naija No Dey Carry Last, EC Osondu’s This House is not for Sale Irenosie Okojie’s Butterfly Fish Chris Abani’s The Secret History of Las Vegas Mona Elthahawy’s Head Scarves and Hymens , Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Ekow Duker’s White Wahala , Helon Habila’s Oil on Water, Igonni Barret’s Black Ass, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s A Season of Crimson Blossoms, Tendai Huchu’s The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician Diekoye Oyeyinka’s Stillborn.

Newly celebrated Zimbabwean author; Novuyo Rosa Tshuma will introduce us to her work Shadows and Taiye Selasie will discuss her bestselling book, Ghana Must Go for the very first time on African soil at the Ake Arts and Book Festival. 

In collaboration with Etisalat Nigeria, Ifeoma Fafunwa’s Hear Word!, will enjoy its Ogun State premiere at the Ake Arts and Book Festival. HEAR WORD! is a powerful stage play that combines artistry, social commentary and true-life stories of inequality and transformation, delivered by some of Nigeria’s most talented actresses: Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, Omonor, Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Zara Udofia, Lala Akindoju, Rita Edward, Debbie Ohiri and Odenike. Tickets for this event is available online at www.akefestival.org. 

Our festival film, The Man Who Mends Women is based on Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize in 2014. Dr. Mukwege is internationally known as the man who treated thousands of women after they were raped and brutalized during the twenty year conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The screening will be followed by an interview session with the writer, Colette Braeckman and the director, Theirry Michel, hosted by Olaokun Soyinka. We will also be screening Ramata, a movie about a woman in her fifties who decides to follow a young Ngor Ndong on a journey to Copacabana where she starts a new life.

Three documentaries will be screened at Ake Festival 2015; Behind The Veil- a documentary that focuses on diversity issues in Nigeria, No Where To Run To:Climate Change and Nigeria's Environmental Crisis. This documentary seeks to sensitize the general public and inspire stakeholders to support efforts to mitigate potential environmental crisis. ROLLING DOLLAR: A LEGEND UNPLUGGED celebrates the music legend, Fatai Rolling Dollar.

Two workshops will be held at Ake Festival 2015. A one-day Fiction Writing workshop with Helon Habila, Taiye Selasi, and Nnedi Okorafor. This workshop will cater to 20 budding writers who want to improve their skills in writing fiction and learning how to prepare their work for publication. The following topics will be covered; Broadening your Horizon, Editing and Publishing your work, and Narrative Voice.

The Creating Web Documentaries workshop seeks to guide individuals interested in documentary-making on how to tell their stories in more interactive ways, using multimedia such as photos, audio, animation, maps, charts, text, slideshows, and infographics.

Three exhibitions will run at Ake Festival in 2015: a commemorative exhibition in memory of felled environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa titled, Ken Saro-Wiwa: 20 Years On.A stunning exhibition of photographs by Andrew Eseibo called Margin and Marginalization and an art exhibition of Tyna Adebowale’s Shadows and Dreams.

Ake Arts and Book Festival is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to sponsor 100 Nigerian undergraduates schooling in Lagos to the festival. The grant will include book tokens worth N20,000 which can only be spent at the Ake Arts and Book Festival bookstore where they will have access to a great selection of books. The application form is available at www.akefestival.org.

We collaborated with Air France to run a Prose and Photography competition aimed at supporting three young African creatives from any African country who would like to attend this year’s edition of Ake Festival but are constrained by costs. The prize includes an all-expense paid trip to the festival and EUR200 in prize money. 

Three winners emerged:

Alex Dyzenhaus from Kenya, for the Photography Prize in the English/French categories. Mamadou Diallo from Senegal, for the Prose Prize in the French category.

Geoffrey Gyasi from Ghana, for the Prose Prize in the English category.

Ake Arts and Book Festival program is available for download here

Tickets to all events can be purchased online before the festival at www.akefestival.org or in person at the festival Registration Desk from 17 November, 2015.

Partners include: European Union, Annoying Logo, Ogun State Government and Etisalat Sponsors include: Goethe Institut, Peugeot LafargeHolcim, NNPC/Chevron, British Council, Miles Morland Foundation, Air France, Embassy of France in Nigeria, Shehu Musa Yar’adua Foundation, Ajala Studios, Nigerian Breweries, Ogun State Television, Channels Television, TV Continental, Marine Platforms, Bank of Industry, Coca-Cola, The Initiative For Equal Right (TIERS).

Supporters include: Allport Cargo Services, Kachifo Ltd, Brittle Paper, Nextier, Art Moves Africa(AMA), Courrier des Afriques, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE), BN Poetry Awards, PM News, Pulse Nigeria, Sabi News, Asiri Magazine, Y!Naija, DigitalBack Books.

 We are very proud of our new app, possibly the first of its type in Nigeria. Android users can now download it in the Google Play store but IOS users will have to wait a week longer.



Name  Home Country 
1  A Igoni Barrett  Nigeria 
2  Abubakar Adam Ibrahim  Nigeria 
3  Adeeko Ibukun  Nigeria 
4  Adeola Fayehun  Nigeria/US 
5  Adeola Opayemi  Nigeria 
6  Ainehi Edoro  Nigeria/US 
7  Andrew Esiebo  Nigeria 
8  Aye-Ola Mabiaku  Nigeria 
9  Ayo Sogunro  Nigeria 
10  Ayodele Morocco Clarke  Nigeria 
11  BibiBakere Yusuf  Nigeria/UK 
12  Binyavanga Wainaina  Kenya 
13  Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu  Nigeria 
14  Chijoke Amu Nnadi  Nigeria 
15  Chris Abani  Nigeria/US 
16  Colette Braeckman  Belgium 
17  Dami Ajayi  Nigeria 
18  Diekoye Oyeyinka  Nigeria 
19  Dilman Dila  Uganda 
20  EC Osondu  Nigeria/US 
21  Efe Paul Azino  Nigeria 
22  Eghosa Imaseun  Nigeria 
23  Ekow Duker  Ghana/ South Africa 
24  Elizabeth Adeolu  Nigeria 
24 Emma Shercliff  Nigeria 
26  Emmanuel Iduma  Nigeria/US 
27  Florence Kayemba  Uganda/Nigeria 
28  Florent Couao-Zotti  Nigeria 
29  Frankie Edozien  Nigeria/US 
30  Freedom Onouha  Nigeria 
31  Funto Boroffice  Nigeria 
32  Helon Habila 
33  Howard French  US 
34  Imani Da Silva  Angola 
35  Inua Ellams  UK 
36  Irenosen Okojie  Nigeria/UK 
37  Jane Kalu  Nigeria 
38  Jean-Christophe Rampal  France 
39  Jibrin Ibrahim  Nigeria 
40  Jude Dibia  Nigeria/Sweden 
41  Jumoke Verrisimo  Nigeria 
42  Kadaria Ahmed  Nigeria 
43  Kate Haines  UK 
44  Kinna Likimani  Ghana 
45  Kola Tubosun  Nigeria 
46  Kolade Arogundade  Nigeria/South Africa 
47  Kunle Ajibade  Nigeria 
48  Maaza Mengiste  US 
49  Mehul Gohil  Kenya 
50  Molara Wood  Nigeria 
51  Mona Eltahawy  Egypt/US 
52  Niran Okewole  Nigeria 
53  Niyi Osundare  Nigeria/US 
54  Nnedi Okorafor  Nigeria/US 
55  Nimmo Bassey  Nigeria 
56  Novuyo Rosa Tshuma  South Africa 
57  Obinna Udenwe  Nigeria 
58  Olaokun Soyinka  Nigeria 
59  Omitonade Ifawemimo  Nigeria 
60  Patrick Okigbo  Nigeria 
61  Pemi Aguda  Nigeria 
62  Peter Kagayi  Uganda 
63  Pierre Cherruau  France/ Nigeria 
64  Pius Adesanmi  Nigeria/Canada 
65  Rachel Zadok  South Africa 
66  Remi Raji  Nigeria 
67  Siphiwo Mahala  South Africa 
Taiye Selasi 
Tendai Huchu  Zimbabwe/UK 
Thiery Michel  Belgium 
Titilope Sonuga  Nigeria/Canada 
Toni Kan  Nigeria 
Tyna Adebowale  Nigeria 
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu  Nigeria 
Vamba Sherif  Liberia/ Holland 
Veronique Tadjo  South Africa 
Victor Ehikhamenor  Nigeria 
Wana Udobang  Nigeria 
Xavier Moyet  Nigeria/France 
Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed  UK 
Zukiswa Wanner  Kenya/ South Africa