Literary icon, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, to headline Ake Arts and Book Festival

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Literary icon and Kenyan novelist, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, will headline the annual Ake Arts and Book Festival holding between November 15 and 19 at the Arts and Cultural Centre in Kuto, Abeokuta.

The 78-year-old author will be talking to writer, Okey Ndibe, about his life and his work in what promises to be five days of cultural immersion into African literature featuring novelists, poets, artists, musicians and other creative professionals.

With the theme, “Beneath This Skin”, there will be conversations about identity, race and individuality of the black race. The festival will also feature 18 authors in nine book chats, art exhibitions, stage play, in-depth interview, film screenings, creative workshops, a music concert, a tour of historic sites and a night of poetry performance.

There will also be a Palmwine and Poetry Evening featuring South Africa’s Lebo Mashile, Michael Kelleher from the US and Nigeria’s Titilope Sonuga and Dike Chukwumerije.

Nigerian visual artist, Laolu Sebanjo, who is most famous for the remarkable body art on show in Beyonce’s Lemonade visual album, will also be exhibiting some of his works. Photographer Fatima Abubakar will also be exhibiting photographs from her Bits of Borno collection.

Other highlights will include a film screening of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy, a non-fiction feature which chronicles the former Chadian dictator who in 2016 was tried and convicted in an African court of sexual slavery, torture and the ordered killing of 40,000 people.

The stage play, Iyalode of Eti, will also be on show during the festival with a star-studded cast. Inspired by John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and set in pre-colonial Yorubaland, it tells the story of how a woman fights for her heart in a land ruled by men and riddled with rituals, haunting, double-crossings, playful levity, and potent tragedy.

For 90 minutes, Nigerians singers Brymo, Falana and Adunni Nefertiti will also thrill the festivalgoers in a concert that promises to be memorable.

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