The Ake Art and Book Festival kicked off on Tuesday 19th November and no one is more excited than us! We really, really would like to meet you at the Festival. Five of our Authors, Igoni Barrett, Abraham Oshoko, Binyavanga Wainaina, Olusegun Adeniyi and Eghosa Imasuen along with other literary voices, Teju Cole, Yewande Omotoso, Molara Wood, Victor Ehikamenor and others will be buzzing about at the various discussion panels and events.

If that’s not enough, the will be art exhibitions and plays; including the stage adaptation of the Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives based on the book by author and Festival organiser, Lola Shoneyin.


Cast of #BabaSegi’s at rehearsal

The Festival ends on Sunday 24th November after a truly amazing weekend line up. Checheck out the full programme here.

For directions to the Festival click here.

Want to know more about the Festival?  Read on…


Question: What is the Ake Arts and Book Festival all about?

Answer: The Ake Arts and Book Festival is a six-day programme of cultural, artistic and literary events. These will include readings, master classes, workshops, performances and talks delivered by both Nigerian and international authors, thinkers, poets, filmmakers, actors, artists and academics.Events will also include a comprehensive book fair, schools visits, a stage play, film showings, a musical concert, and library openings to pupils, publishers and book-buyers will be invited. Members of the public will be invited to participate in these events to promote social inclusion.

Question: Do I need an invitation to attend the festival?

Answer: No, you do not need an invitation to attend the festival. However, you need to register and registration costs N1000/ $6.50. Registration gives you access to the festival venue and to some of the free events. You will also be entitled to the festival welcome package. The registration fee is a one-off payment. We have both free events and events that can be booked and paid for online/in person prior to the event or in person at the venue. Because of the generosity of sponsors, most events are free.

Question: How do I register for the master classes?

Answer: You apply on the website, and you are required to have foundational knowledge of the classes you wish to apply for. You will be notified if you have been accepted by October. Please note that the selections will be made by the facilitators on a first come, first serve basis. We encourage you to apply early.

Question: How can I participate in the online competitions?

Answer: The online competitions is open to everyone. All you have to do is create an account on the website and you can start sending in your answers. You will be notified by email if you are one of our lucky winners.

Question: Will the books of participating authors be available at the festival?

Answer: Yes, books written by visiting authors will be available at the festival and you will be able to get your books autographed. From October if you are interested in a particular author, you will be able to buy the books online, or pick them up at our Lagos office or the Ibadan or Abuja depot.

Question: Is it only the books that I buy at the book fair that the authors will autograph?

Answer: No. You can come with copies you bought previously or the books that you ordered before the festival.

Question: I am an author and I would like to participate in the festival and showcase my work, how can I do this?

Answer: Please send an email to office@akefestival.org. We invite our guests to participate ten months before the actual festival.It is unlikely that you will be invited to the 2013 festival but there’s always next year. Each year, we will have a different theme. It is important that your work is in line with our criteria, and that your work is given the go-ahead by our guest selection committee.


Comic Book Superheroes & Nigerian Politics

American Superheroes

Captain America, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Spider-man. What effect did American superheroes have on the psyche of American society?

Comic books are more than agnostic art, the history of comic books in the USA and particularly of action comics since World War II show that comics can be a medium for political expression. For many years comics have been use to tell the American story and more subtly to promote certain political and social agendas; from war to peacetime politics, from rights movements to changing social norms.

Marvel Comics recently announced the release of a new comic series with a Muslim-American girl as the teenage superhero.


Kamala Khan, new Muslim-American superhero by Marvel Comics

During the Golden Age of comics (1938 to 1950) comics were used to bolster support for Allied forces against the Axis forces. American comic book companies showcased heroes such as Captain America prevailing over the Axis Powers like Adolf Hitler. Superman and Batman, star-spangled Wonder Woman, The Shield and Captain America were all hugely popular during World War II and most US presidents since the Golden Age have featured one way or another in mainstream superhero comics. 

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Wonder Woman

And for good reason. Danny Fingeroth, author of  Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us about Ourselves and Our Society thinks he know why comic book superheroes have continued to matter so much to so many of us over the past several decades. He defines a hero as “someone who rises above his or her fears and limitations to achieve something extraordinary…a hero embodies what we believe is best in ourselves”. More so superheroes who have fantastic powers, strength of character and a system of positive values, and a will of steel to defend those values. If ever there was a society that needed the kind of subliminal reconditioning that superheroes can offer it would be Nigeria – today.

That’s what Farafina and Nigerian comic book buff will be discussing today, 5.30pm at a public roundtable discussion at the Bogobiri Festival. Details are:

Venue: Bogobiri, 9, Maitama Sule Street off Awolowo Road (near Falomo), South-West Ikoyi, Lagos

Date: Sat 9th Nov 2013

Time: 5.30pm – 6.45pm

Theme: “Comic books, graphic novels and patriotism: Can Nigerian comic books influence society and politics?” 

Panel includes Yona Oyegun-Masade (moderator) of Farafina, publishers of Abraham Oshoko’s June 12: Annulment , Adeniran Adeniji publisher of Uhuru Comics and Ibrahim Ganiyu illustrator of June XII comics.

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Right after the open discussion (which takes place in the Bogobiri Gallery), Keziah Jones, in concert, launches his latest album, ‘Captain Rugged’, aptly inspired by the comic book culture. You don’t want to miss either event.