The 2017 edition of Ake Festival opened last week to rave reviews.
From Nnedi Okorafor's mentorship and writing session to talks on Afrofuturism and science fiction, below are what the festival had to offer:
1. The first-panel session at the Ake Arts and Books Festival had panellists Ayisha Osori and Bisi Adeleye Fayemi talk about "Disrupting Culture: Women in Politics."
The woman had interesting insights to give. Bidi Adeleye Fayemi said, “As long as politics is associated with thuggery and violence, good people will stay away.”
Ayisha is of the opinion that, “Language is a stereotype that keeps men and women in a box. Our duty is to interrogate the kind of women that are coming in, are they women who are typically like the men.”
As for women in politics, Mrs. Fayemi believes women should help one another up. “We need women who encourage other women, not women who climb up and then remove the ladder.”
On speculative fiction, Nnedi said, “I would expect speculative fiction to come out of Africa and not just the diaspora. The word Afrofuturism will become mainstream when the Black Panther movie comes out, so it will be a good idea to define what it really is now.”
2. Another session "Men who write Women" had Ishmael Beah, Giles Foden and Toni Kan as panellists with Zukiswa Wanner as moderator. The conversation was about male authors who write female characters.
3. Pumla Goqla, former Ekiti state First Lady, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi and Jessica Horn talked about feminism Across Borders.
4. A session titled ‘Talking Sexual Violence: Victims and Violation’ had Florida Uzoaru, Femi Oyebode and Kikelomo Woleosho as panellists while Bim Adewunmi moderated.
5. The last day of the Ake Arts and Books festival saw a book chat between Nnedi Okorafor and Diane Awabuk moderated by Geoff Ryman.