Ake Festival Fashion

I want to start this review with this, Ake Festival 2019 has been one of my best weekends this year. And you’re about to find out why in a bit.

The Aké Arts and Book Festival is an annual literary, cultural and arts event. It was founded in 2013 by Nigerian poet, writer and demi-goddess, Lola Shoneyin, you might know her as the author of The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives.

Although the festival has featured new and established writers from across the world, its focus has been to promote, develop and celebrate creativity on the African continent in diverse genres.

The theme for Ake Festival 2019 was, Black Bodies, Grey Matter. No. Don’t roll your eyes, it sounds deep but it’s not as pseudo-intellectual as you might think. It’s explained better below:

We shall examine the physical, mental and emotional violence that has been and is being inflicted on black bodies, particularly those of women through conflict, colonialism, patriarchy, our cultural practices, and our attitudes.


As it’s the usual culture, here on the blog, I’ll start with my highlights in no particular order.

Playing dress-up: I only enjoy playing dress-up when I have events to attend. And Ake Festival 2019 was my runway. My outfits were made by my work colleague, Jola AKA @perlmutt_ on Instagram.

Ake Festival 2019 Outfit 1
Day 1
Ake Festival 2019 Outfit 2
Day 2
Ake Festival 2019 Outfit 3
Day 3 Tshirt was designed by my friend @lexs5
Ake Outfit 4
Day 4

I met all my bookish friends: I think this is something I love most about literary gatherings. The DM comes to life and you get to put faces to the chats. It was after the festival I remembered I didn’t take pictures with a lot of people but the memories in my heart live on.

Ake festival
This is Diekoye, a fantastic writer, I’m going to review his highly underrated book, Stillborn, before the year runs out.
Ake Festival
With the incredible @Naijabookworm of Homeland Reviews.com
Ake Festival
With my cupcake, Sarah @book_elocutionist
Ake Festival
With the biggest surprise, my wife!
@Literandra of Literandra.com
Ake Festival
My sweetheart and I
@Naijabookbae of Naijabookbae.com
Ake Festival
With, @naijabookworm, @naijabookbae, @codedreader
Bookstagram Nigeria

The Panels: Every panel and book chat I attended left me with a feeling of hope and faith. It was so refreshing and the guests were all so passionate. I didn’t attend the poetry presentations or films screenings or plays because I was so full from the panels. Also, I’m getting old and I really love my sleep.

A Small Silence by Jumoke Verissimo
Book Chat: A Small Silence by Jumoke Verissimo hosted by Ade Bantu
Ake festival panel discussion
Panel discussion: Historical Fiction For Today’s Africa
Wayetu Moore, Jennifer Makumbi, Tunde Leye. Hosted by Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun
panel discussion
Panel Discussion: Fifty Years After Things Fall Apart
Chika Unigwe, Helon Habila, Nnamdi Ehirim. Hosted by Wale Lawal
panel discussion
Book Chat
Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi Oh and Incomplete Solutions by Wole Talabi. Hosted by Tolu Daniel
panel discussion
Book Chat
Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree by Adaobi Nwabuani and Silence Is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia. Hosted by Lade Tawak
panel discussion
Interview: Life And Times Series
Tsitsi Dangarembga, hosted by Molara Wood
panel discussion
Panel Discussion: The Long Of The Short Story.
Jennifer Makumbi, Chika Unigwe and Billy Kahora. Hosted by Toni Kan
 panel discussion
Panel Discussion: Looking Back On Four Hundred Years Of Slavery.
Nicole Dennis-Benn, Nichelle Smith and Adrian Harewood. hosted by Gary Younge
panel discussion
Yolande Mukagasana, hosted by Wana Udobang
panel discussion
Book Chat Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo and Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn. Hosted by Kola Tubosun
panel discussion
I had to add one more!
panel discussion
Eat The Book with Ozoz Sokoh
panel discussion
Eat That Book with Ozoz Sokoh
panel discussion
Book Chat
She Would Be King by Wayetu and Dancing The Death Drill by Fred Khumalo. Hosted by Lola Shoneyin
 panel discussion
Book Chat
A Particular Kind Of Black Man by Tope Folarin, hosted by Tobi Jaiyesimi
Ake festival panel discussion
Book Chat
The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy, hosted by Fakhrriyyah Hashim.
panel discussion
I had to drop one more
panel discussion 1
Panel Discussion: Are Women Domination African Speculative Fiction? Nnedi Okorafor, Temi Oh, Mohale Mashigo. Hosted by Geoff Ryman

Meeting my favourite authors: When I fangirl, I go hard. I mean, I wore a T-shirt with the book cover of one of my faves, Bernardine Evaristo. I’m so happy I got to meet my favourite writers. It was so surreal. The fact that they recognised my fangirling work on the internet was a super bonus!

Jennifer Makumbi
With Jennifer Makumbi
Helon Habila
With Helon Habila
Chika Unigwe
With Chika Unigwe
Ayobami Adebayo
With Ayobami Adebayo
Mona Eltahawy
With Mona Eltahawy
Bernardine Evaristo
With Bernardine Evaristo
Bernardine Evaristo
One more, for the culture!
Nicole Dennis-Benn
With Nicole Dennis-Benn
Wayetu Moore
With Wayetu Moore

Here’s my lowlight: When I heard there would be vendors, I hoped for food but all we got were two food vendors, abula and sharwama. I expected more because the venue for the festival wasn’t in an area where we could easily get for food ourselves. There’s only so much coffee and croissants a girl can take before my ancestors start calling for spice.

On a final note, I’m grateful for this festival. The best realization was this: in spite of all the shit people are going through, things are being created every day, people are LIVING and that renewed my faith in me. I’m so fucking inspired! I can’t wait for Ake Festival 2020!

Lipglossmaffia at Ake

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