A sudden immigration has befallen Abeokuta. For a week, literary stars from Boston to Bulawayo gathered in constellation under its rocks for one of the continent’s biggest book and arts events – Ake Festival. This year’s festival, which took place from November 15-19 was themed ‘Beneath the Skin’ and it explored erotica, prison stories and horror fiction within an African context.

Authors, readers, intellectuals, artists, thinkers, publishers read, discussed, argued, partied and had palm wine. And then, it was over. Stars returned to their different skies. Here, we remember the week that was in colour and frozen memories…

Photo Credit: Hamed Adedeji


 Music was the festival's opening appetiser. Served delicious by breakout Spanish-singing Nigerian talent, Falana.

Music was the festival’s opening appetiser. Served  by breakout Spanish-singing Nigerian talent, Falana.

a-8 After Falana’s sweet sound, a bit of spice via Nigeria’s most underrated artist, Brymo. With a new album titled ‘Klitoris’, definitely worth paying more attention to.
a-9 And there was praise!
 a-2Every day is for the autograph. Author, Teju Cole delivering an important social service.
a-12 Convener of the festival, Lola Shoneyin, in a rare moment of not directing proceedings and actually enjoying them.
a-15 The main course – panel discussions!  – in the main hall, packed full with presumably hungry minds.
a-5 Kenyan literary legend Ngugi Wa Thiong’o holding court with one of his classics.
a-11 Eat your heart out, Barnes and Noble. Here, exciting literature from the best writers on the continent and beyond. And the ‘World Fiction’ section had Western writers. Ha!
a-7 And there was truth-telling. Poetry. Titilope Sonuga peeling herself and our hearts with words.
a-1 Full(er) House
a-3 Literary Festival Aesthetic. Words were not the only thing on display, being performed.
a-10 There’s joy. And then there’s this.
 a-17Popping palm wine!
 a-6Of Professor Ngugi and a taste test.
 a-4You know it’s funny when…
 a-13Encore! Ake Festival 2017, come soon !