The Ake International Books & Art Festival third day consisted of the opening ceremony ,which was graced by a host of dignitaries from the diplomatic corps, the sponsors, and supporters. The Executive Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun was on hand, as was the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and Ecowas, H.E. Michel Arrion. The ceremony was hosted by ace compere and performance poet, Wana Udobang, and was replete with goodwill messages from eitsalat, the Miles Morland Foundtion, Chevron /NNPC, and Air France, as well as performances from Qudus Onikeku (dance), Aduke (music), and Efe Paul Azino (poetry). The programe also saw the Launch of the Ake Review 2015, as well as the announcement of the etisalat literature prize longlist, as well as the winners of the Ake Air France prose and photography prizes.
The day kicked off proper with a panel discussions on two topics holding simultaneously: Writing our Way Out: Social Inequality in Africa, which had Siphiwo Mahala, Dilman Dila, Mona Eltahawy and Jibrin Ibrahim on the panel, and another one: Call and response: African Writers Writing Back, which had Taye Selasi, Chris Abani, and EC Osondu. The debaters and panelists opined on a wide range of issues relating to the topics they were discussing, answering questions from the attentive audience, and generally making sure that everyone had a swell time.
Then followed a book chat with Irenosen Okojie, author of Butterfly Fish, and she critically analysed the how and why of the research and experiences she went through in the course of the time it took her to write it. Another book chat with Igoni Barrett and nnedi okoroafor held, with both their books BLACKASS and LAGOON respectively, up for discussion vis a vis the city of lagos.
Then followed a documentary and panel discussion session holding simultaneously with another Panel Discussion on Africa Magic: the rise of speculative fiction, which featured Nnedi Okoroafor, dilman dila and mehul gohil, and was anchored by Mazi Nwonwu.
Another panel discussion on Anglophone vs francophone literature was also held, this time entirely in French, and the discussants were Veronique Tadjo and Florent Couao-Zotti. Simultaneously with that, another panel, this time on Reliable Narrators: Blogging Africa’s Books, which had Ainehi Edoro (Brittle Paper), Kinna Likimani, Emmanuel Iduma, and Zahrah Nesbitt Ahmed.
The last activity of the day was a film show THE MAN WHO MENDS WOMEN, a film about a doctor from DRCongo who has dedicated his life to obstetric and gynaecological surgery, specializing in victims of rape and trauma brought about by the ongoing civil war in that country.
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Ikechukwu Nwaogu is a writer, occasional poet, and playwright who lives and hustles in Lagos. An avid lover of books, reading, and poetry. He blogs at www.inkspilla.wordpress.com and tweets via @eyekaywizard[/color-box]