“I write what I like”: Aké Arts & Book Festival 2016 in Abeokuta, Nigeria

‘The fourth incarnation of the Aké Arts & Book Festival took place 15-19 November 2016, in Abeokuta, Nigeria, the birthplace of Wole Soyinka, and shares a name with Soyinka’s classic memoir of his childhood, Aké.’

AiW Guest: Nathan Suhr-Sytsma

akefest2The fourth incarnation of the Aké Arts & Book Festival took place 15-19 November 2016, in Abeokuta, Nigeria, the birthplace of Wole Soyinka, and shares a name with Soyinka’s classic memoir of his childhood, Aké. The festival is the brainchild of Lola Shoneyin, who capably directs it with the support of a small team of dedicated staff and two dozen student volunteers from across Nigeria. The week began with workshops in fiction writing, graphic stories, and script-writing for a select number of participants, kicking off for the rest of us on Thursday morning. Aké brings together dozens of guests, primarily creative writers from Nigeria and other African countries, but also academics, filmmakers, and other kinds of creative intellectuals, along with a couple hundred attendees, most of them young Nigerians—aspiring writers and/or book lovers.

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Do Not Be Brittle

The landscape of the world is filled with many illogicalities. I hear of so many people losing hope in humanity. Can you blame them? Can you question the loss of faith in humanity when humanity acts irrationally? But I think that we should not lose faith, because there is still hope, but not outside ourselves.

People have lost faith in friends, for friends have decided to foster hate over peace. Continue reading “Do Not Be Brittle”

The Link Between Communitarianism and Corruption

A few days ago I had to dash into Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available) after work. It is a pretty precise operation, going shopping after 5pm. I have about a 5 minute window to do any actual shopping. The real uphill task is being able to buy the items you have chosen. The place is filled with people trying to do the end of the day shop. Since, I have to drop off my shopping at home and go and pick little one before nursery closes at 6pm, this calls for some fancy footwork. Continue reading “The Link Between Communitarianism and Corruption”

My Parents Taught Me to be a Rock Plant

Growing up, my mother would often refer to herself and my father as ‘at’apata dide’, literally meaning they grew up from a rock. This is a phrase used to describe people who started from nothing. A rock is bare and usually nothing grows on it. It is no wonder then that my parents are my inspiration in all things. They have managed to go further in life than either of them could have ever dreamed possible. More than the material care they lavished on me, the habit of resilience that they have bestowed on me is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received. Continue reading “My Parents Taught Me to be a Rock Plant”

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