Below, in the briefest of summaries is the schedule for Ake:
- Day 1 (17th): Fiction Workshops
- Day 2 (18th): School Visits
- Day 3 (19th): Opening Ceremony, book chats, panel discussions
- Day 4 (20th): Book chats and panel discussions, announcements
- Day 5 (21st) Panel discussions, books chat, announcements, Poetry and Palmwine evening.
- There is a film or play every evening.
This schedule allows for staggered arrivals so I got to Abeokuta on the evening of the 17th (Day 1). My flight left Accra at 5:45pm and an hour later, touchdown at Lagos. It took more time to get to and through the airport in Accra than it did to fly from Accra to Lagos. Our transit bus to Abeokuta took a while to leave Lagos – folks were still arriving on different flights. Anywho, we got to Abeokuta, a 2hr drive, around 11pm , had a very late meal (hosted by Lola Shoneyin) and finally crawled into bed by 12:45am. That was my Day 1. I met lots of folks on the bus but I was too tired to record it all
But I’m so happy to be in Abeokuta, to be in Nigeria!
Day 2 – Wednesday November 18
I opted out of school visits to rest in at the hotel. Every Ake edition includes visits to Abeokuta-area schools where Ake guests read to school children and encourage reading and writing. @akefestival has posted pictures and here is a selection:
In the afternoon, I dropped by the Ake Bookstore:
So many books I want, but I was good and just got 4 on this first visit to the bookstore:
In the meantime, people! I saw Veronique Tadjo, Nnedi Okorafor, Helon Habila, Chris Abani, Zukiswa Wanner, A.Igoni Barret, Siphiwo Malala, James Murua, Taiye Selasi and many more on my first full day at Ake. My partner-in-crime is Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah.
The film of the evening was Ramata:
Directed by Léandre-Alain Baker, starring the late Katoucha Naine and other talented actors, set in Dakar, beguiling atmosphere, (this film had most) BUT the plot was wrong. In a nutshell:
So there was that!
In all, a good day at Ake.
Highlights for Day 3 include the Opening Ceremony, my panel with fellow book bloggers, a book chat between A.Igoni Barrett and Nnedi Okorafor, a panel on speculative fiction and more!