Ake Arts and Book Festival 2022
Arts and Book festivals are regular gatherings of writers, book lovers, and other artists, typically annually in a particular city. The Ake Arts and Book Festival is one such festival, and its tenth edition will hold from the 24th to the 26th of November 2022 in Ikoyi, Lagos State.
The Festival is named after Ake, a town in Ogun State, the birthplace of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka. It was founded in 2013 by Lola Shoneyin, poet and author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. For Shoneyin, “the festival is our way of making people embrace art.” She believes having ‘a well-organised literary event on Africa’s cultural calendar’ is important.
Every year, a theme is chosen to guide the array of events at the Festival. The theme for 2022 is ‘Homecoming’ – ‘our African roots influence our Art and our creative expression. As we migrate and settle around the globe, however, these bonds may weaken with time. This makes the ritual of homecoming particularly significant; it is a response to a centripetal force calling us home to experience the regenerative power of our ancestral roots’. Past themes have included ‘Generational Discordance’ in 2021 and ‘African Time' in 2020.
The 2022 festival will be in-person (it was held virtually in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID) and will be headlined by Veronique Tadjo, from Côte d’Ivoire, an honorary professor at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tadjo writes in French and has had her books translated into many languages. Her “In the Company of Men” (2021) was awarded the Lost Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction in April 2022.
The 2nd conference of the Global Association of Literary Festivals will be hosted by the Festival, allowing it, as Shoneyin states, to introduce other festival directors/producers to the ‘wealth of creativity that originates from and continues to thrive on the African continent’.