After three glorious days in the bosom of art and books, #AkeFest18 draws to a close with lots of nostalgia.

This year’s Ake arts and book festival was complete with a collaboration with the British Museum and artworks from talented artists. There was a memory room which contained preserved recordings of old art forms like a flute recording from Igboland in 1911, a recording of Josiah Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo Kuti‘s grandfather, singing a Yoruba hymn in 1965 and so on. There were also historical data ranging from literary texts from former slaves to Ifa divination.

 

While it was the last day, most people scampered around trying to absorb as much from the festival as possible. At the end of the night, a prize of a Nikon camera was given to an attendee, Waziri Umaru, for his photos on #MyAkefest18Story.

Panel discussions

On the note of fantastical futures, the topics for the last day ranged from Understanding Afrofuturism to The Black Panther Phenomenon, from Comics and fantastical African Future to Lagos: A City of the Future and The Journey of African Literature. Notable guests include Wole Talabi, Tochi Onyebuchi, Tosin Oshinowo, Nnedi Okorafor, Roye Okupe, Kolawole Olanrewaju, Jide Martin, Yadi Ukoha Kalu, Chibundu Onuzo, Nze Sylvia and Olasupo Shasore.

 

Later, This Issue Of Blood, themed around menstruation and culture, ensued. Guests were Mona Eltahawy, Toni Kan and Cynthia Ndeche.

Eltahawy, author of Headscarves and Hymens, says: “The longest relationship in my life is with my period. It is such a central part of my life. I’m writing a letter to my period which I’ve been getting for years. I come from a Muslim home where everyone knows when you get your period.”

Book chats

The book chats for the last day featured Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People, Ayesha Haruna Attah, author of The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Nnedi Okorafor, author of Binti, and Tochi Onyebuchi, author of Beasts Made of Night.

The last book chat ended with a surprise for Nnedi — a digital portrait presented to her by artist Abdulkareem Aminu.

Film

Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the screening of Rafiki. Two girls fall in love in a conservative Kenyan town amidst political rivalry between their two families. The film portrays love, hate and the war of choices.

Poetry

With Ake finally rounding up, we witnessed riveting poetry performances from Dami Ajayi, Wana Udobang, Theresa Lola, Saddiq Dzukogi, Nastio Mosquito, Nick Makoha, Ishion Hutchinson and Nii Ayikwei-Parkes.

The ceremony ended with a Vote of Thanks from the very special Lola Shoneyin, who thanked guests, partners, sponsors and friends for once again making this year’s Ake Arts and Book Festival a successful one!


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