Ake Festival || 2016

Ake Festival

Ake Arts and Book Festival is a 5-day festival that celebrates books and other interconnected facets of the arts. The festival features master classes and workshops in various aspects of performance art, visual art, drama, fashion, music, film, dance and writing.

The 2016 edition is the 4th edition and will take place at the Arts and Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta on 15-19 November, 2016. This year’s theme is “Beneath This Skin” and conversations will focus on identity, race and individuality. The festival would also explore erotica, prison stories and horror fiction, within an African context.


Ake Festival 2016 will feature over 70 guests, 18 authors in 9 book chats, 2 art exhibitions, 1 stage play, 1 in-depth interview, school visits, 12 stimulating panel discussions, 5 film screenings, 1-day creative workshop, 1 music concert, a tour of historic sites and a night of poetry performance.


Tuesday (15th November 2016)

Creative Workshop

There will be a one-day fiction writing workshop with Noviolet Bulawayo, Helon Habila & Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Sebastian Loerscher will be working with 12 artists/ illustrators in preparation for a book of short stories tentatively titled E No Be Lagos?


  • Body Art by Laolu Senbanjo


  • Fatima Abubakar’s Photography


Wednesday (16th November 2016)

Schools Visit

Project Inspire! is a Book Buzz Foundation initiative. Ake Festival guests visit local primary and secondary schools for two-hour sessions, during which they read from their work and share their thoughts on their favorite books.


Visitors at Ake Festival get to watch a acoustic musical concert, featuring Brymo, Falana and Adunni Nefertiti.


Thursday (17th November 2016)

Welcome Ceremony*

Book Chats

There would be 9 Book Chats, featuring 18 finest African Writers sharing about the inspiration behind their books, writer’s block, back stories, unforgettable characters and how they craft those sentences that leave us breathless.

Some of the authors include:

  • Jowhor Ile
  • Odafe Atogun
  • Toni Kan
  • Jennifer Makunbi
  • Teju Cole (Yay!)
  • Helon Habila
  • Alain Mabanckou
  • Okey Ndibe

Panel Discussions

  • Our Hidden Shame: Exploring Mental Health in African Writing
  • The Irony of Black Lives Matter in Africa
  • Legs Open, Eyes Closed: Sensuality in New African Writing
  • Prison Stories and Literature of Resistance (to be headlined by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o)
  • Fragile Histories: Uncertain Futures
  • Flying Dreams and Alien Nightmares: Speculative Fiction in Modern African Writing
  • Women in Post Boko-Haram Reality

Friday (18th November 2016)

Stage Play

Iyalode of Eti, An Adaptation of the Duchess of Malfi by Debo Oluwatuminu

“The recently widowed Iyalode longs to marry her lover Oguntade. But her scheming and controlling brothers forbid their union. When Iyalode secretly marries Oguntade, their love and lives are threatened. Iyalode of Eti is the story of how a woman asserts her strength and fights for her heart in a land ruled by men. An English play is retold as an African mystical fable riddled with rituals, hauntings, double-crossings, playful levity, and potent tragedy.”

iyalodesquare-02 (1).jpg


  • Olumo Rock
Olumo Rock

P.S. You can read about my experience at Olumo Rock here.

  • Kuto Market

Festival of Short Films

  • Mahamat Haroun’s Hissen Habre: A Chadian Tragedy


  • Marguerite Abouet’s Aya de Yopougon

Saturday (19th November 2016)


Life and Times Series with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o


Palmwine and Poetry Evening/Party

There would be performances by Titilope Sonuga(I LOVE her!!!) , Michael Kelleher, Dike Chukumerije, Lebo Mashile etc… Guests are treated to palmwine – Abeokuta style (you’ll thank me later).

P.S. I would love to know what you love about the blog and what kind of content you would like to see more. I have created a survey form HERE to help with this. Thank you in advance!!!!

About the Author

Michael is a literary enthusiast. You can follow him on twitter – @hemical where he shares some of his opinions; biased, unbiased and sometimes controversial.

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2 Replies to “Ake Festival || 2016”

  1. […] So Aké Festival just finished and @archfandroid shared all her experience and highlights of the Aké Arts & Books Festival. If you don’t know what Aké Festival, check out our previous post here. […]

  2. […] So Aké Festival just finished and @archfandroid shared all her experience and highlights of the Aké Arts & Books Festival. If you don’t know what Aké Festival, check out our previous post here. […]

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