The festival, running from the 18th of November to the 22nd of November has the theme “Bridges and Pathways” and it will focus on ‘building bridges between Africa peoples, especially along language, ethnic and gender lines, and charting new paths with the aim of creating synergy and cultural cross fertilisation on the African continent.’
The line up of the festival includes well known name in the arts and literature. They include Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, Caine Prize Winner, Binyavanga Wainaina, Actor and Movie Producer, Kunle Afolayan, Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, Author, Molara Wood, just to mention a few.
The festival will also feature 13 panel discussions with interesting topics ranging from “Writing Back/Writing Forward: Representations of Africa in New Fiction”, chaired by Lizzy Attree, Director, Caine Prize to “Slave Narratives and the Burden of Memory,” featuring the Jamaican poet Kei Miller, who recently won the prestigious Forward Prize for the best poetry collection of 2014.
Other activities include master classes on science fiction writing, comic drawing and documentary making from distinguished professionals; art exhibitions; drama displays; documentaries; poetry readings; school visits; and book chats. Ten books have been chosen for discussion, giving the audience the chance to interact with the authors. One of the books up for discussion this year is Children of Paradise written by acclaimed British-Guyanese poet, novelist and playwright Fred D’Aguiar, the novel explores the events surrounding the Jonestown tragedy.
The festival will also screen a new documentary, made by Yaba Badoe, about the Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo. The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo, celebrates Aidoo and her work as one of Africa’s foremost women writers, and brings it to new audiences.
With the extraordinary line up guests and the interesting range of discussion topics, participants are in for an exhilarating few days in Abeokuta this year.
The festival is organized by Book Buzz Foundation (BBF), a non-governmental organisation founded by teacher and writer, Lola Shoneyin.