AkeFest19 Review Series: Book Chats, Helpful Tips and my Bookstagram Squad.

Find Book chats, Helpful tips and Peep my bookstagram squad. I may share moments of me being a fangirl.

Aké Festival Bookstore. Image source: Nonku Magi-Africa

I attended the 7th Edition of Aké Arts and Book Festival from 24th -27th October 2019 at Alliance Française|Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos. It was a literary indulgence. I got to watch, listen to, meet, converse, take pictures with all my favourite literary creatives.

Brilliant Book Chats

Lessons on life and writing from these brilliant book chats at AkéFest19. Watch them on YouTube.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo, Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn hosted by Kola Tubson

“What do we gain or lose when we chose ourselves as women?” -Nicole Dennis-Benn

I was most excited for this book chat with Bernadine and Nicole. Their books expertly explore intersectionality for Black women. Plus the Jamaican and Black British realities of diverse female characters were uniquely new experiences for me. Generational trauma, identity, queerness, motherhood, racial identity, child abandonment, colorism, immigrant struggles, mental health, self healing and acceptance, gender expression, sexual violence and more themes were discussed.

Its a privilege listening to Bernadine talk about her writing process and style that I love so much. Later, she indulged me in a chat about Mr Loverman, my favourite book of hers. Graceful icon, she is!


The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy hosted by Fakhrriyyah Hashim

Mona Eltahawy gave me solidarity, permission and fire power. Her quotes;

“When you’re uncomfortable, your privilege is being questioned.”

“You have to liberate yourself from this war that they impose on just us women.”

“Why are women’s bodies the battle ground between religion and culture??.”

“I own this body, I take care of it.”

“I do not want crumbs; I want the whole fucking cake. And I do not want patriarchy’s cake. I want my own fucking cake”

‘Patriarchy demands of feminism to constantly clip our wings, my definition of feminism now is the total dismantling and disruption of patriarchy.’

“Imagine patriarchy as an octopus. The head of the octopus is misogyny and the other tentacles are the tools of patriarchy
Capitalism
Racism
Ableism
Homophobia
Colourism

My war is against patriarchy and not men.”

“It’s too late for equality, i want liberation.”
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Fakhrriyyah was unforgettable! Her questions highlighted important inquires.
‘We have this idea that we are purists and anything that doesn’t fall within our cultural and religious ideals is bad.’


Do You Dream of Terra-Two by Temi OH and Incomplete Solutions by Wole Talabi hosted by Tolu Daniel

“What happens to our consciousness when we realise we are truly alone?”-Temi OH

“People think science fiction is about the future. But it’s not. I can use science fiction to investigate the now. I use it to reflect Nigeria.”-Wole Talabi

Do You Dream of Terra-Two is an introspective book on space and interstellar travel, explorong loneliness, climate change and faith by a young crew of astronauts on a mission to colonise another planet. I can’t wait to read it!

I agree with Tolu, the lyrical quality of ‘Incomplete Solutions’ sentences are commendable. Wole advised the audience;
Writing is a personal thing, you need to find your own voice. Your voice will help you write interesting stories that will get recognised. A strong base of realistic science helps root any narrative for science fiction. Instead of looking at infrastructural challenges as limits, let them inspire your work to proffer solutions.


A Particular Kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin hosted by Tobi Jaiyesimi

“The pathway to acceptance in a system that was constructed against you is constructing a better sense of self.”

A Particular Kind of Black Man explores masculine identity, self acceptance and reinventing yourself through art and music, immigrant experience of black men, depression, father-son relationships, domestic abuse of men by their spouses. It’s such a wholesome book! It made me realise that I need to pay more attention to the mental health and self development of men in my life. Tope speaks fondly of his father’s loving and positively impactful presence in his life. I love how I can connect to this because of my loving, supportive father.


Intruders by Mohale Mashigo and When Trouble Sleeps by Leye Adenle hosted by TJ Benson

This book chat introduced me to Mohale Mashigo’s writing. I love how witty she is. She writes fantastical short stories which reflect and investigate how Africans who live on the continent deal with change, trauma, identity, violence, drug abuse and more. She warns about labels put on writers which may not reflect their works.

I’m now a Stan for Leye Adenle’s When Trouble Sleeps. The jaw dropping prologue got me intrigued. I love how he writes dynamic African women characters.


Hey Gem, you’ve read halfway. 🎺🥳📯You’ve earn these 8 helpful tips for buying books, networking with book bloggers and being a thoughtful fan at literary festivals. Continue scrolling to see my bookstagram squad.


Bookstagram Squad

Gallery of all my bookstagram friends, literary bloggers, Creatives and Authors I had the privilege of linking up with at Aké.

The Content Media work schedule was hectic. My breaks were spent giving hugs, quick chats and introductions. I managed to take pictures on Day 4 although I was sniffling and weak from flu.

(L-R) Amethyst Saw, Fatima (Writer, Contributor to Art at Aké) Thanks for insisting we take pictures on Day 3.

(L-R) Lara Kareem(Author, A Guide to Self Publishing), Amaka Amaku (Communications Manager, Ake Festival Team)

Ella Chikezie (Filmmaker, Writer)

L-R) Bernadine Evaristo (Author, Booker Prize Winner), Kayode Adeyemi (Book Blogger on Instagram)

I and Kayode The Coded Reader. He kept calling me Gem, it was so sweet.

I and Alessandra of Literanda (Literary Hub) from the UK. She was incredible and as witty as her book reviews!

Lara and I 🧡

Nicole Dennis-Benn (Author, Patsy & Here Comes the Sun), Lara Kareem (Author, Blogger-NaijaBookBae)

I and Mona Eltahawy(Author, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls). She listened to me talking about Fatima’s project & loved my orange lipstick. Epic fangirl moment!

My efficient boss, Amaka & fiery Mona Eltahawy

Ezinne Ogwuah(Author, Self Apology) A remarkable friend who slayed me with this sheer Bubu and intuition.

Amaka Ehiem (Lifestyle Blogger-The Life of Amaka).I literally screamed and hugged her after she introduced herself and I recalled who she is. I had to return to live tweeting so I couldn’t take a picture with her. I think I and her are the only attendees that bought 1 book.


Copyright: Photos not taken by me are used with permission and/or referenced. Use any of these photos and reference Amethyst Saw and other owners.

Thank you for reading this far.

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