AKE FESTIVAL AND KABAFEST’17
That right up there is my failed attempt at being a cool kid. We don’t say no hi, we don’t say long time no post. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m high. Oh shit, did you see that? I think I just rhymed. Skrrrr…
Okay meedah trybe, I know y’all miss me but I miss you guys more. I miss your comments, your suggestions and every single thing man. Kisses to you for dropping by today; are you new here? Milo clap for you; you’ve successfully joined the cool kids of Africa. But check my previous post here though!
A November to remember; so shall this month be. Three years ago, I couldn’t beat my chest to say that I look forward to any month or anytime of the month because bleeehhh; nothing interesting that much happens or maybe I was just sorta caged.
This year however, I sit on my prayer mats for a little longer to pray for a sponsor to Ake festival since I’m in this far town of Jigawa. Yes, its that serious.
If you haven’t been to a book and art festival then this post is for you and at the end, you should be packing your bags and taking a leave from work. You’ll say i told you so.
My first time at a book festival was last year and it was one of the most beautiful time of the year. It was the highlight of my year. So, if you’re a lover of art and everything deep, original and beautiful, then you’re in the right place.
Ake festival as I remember it embodies a lot of activities ranging from panel discussions, book chats, stage play, live performance, visitations, poetry recitation and even art exhibitions. This is actually a lot of program to keep anyone busy for a whole four days. It is called Cultural Immersion.
To avoid you being overwhelmed with lists of activities, the Ake festival organizers have the program of the festival ready online weeks before the festival itself. This is not only to help prepare your mind for the awesomeness to come but also to get familiar with the guest, panelists and every “somebody” that would be present at the festival.
Ake festival is like the best place for a book haul and everyone is always hyped up to share their book haul at the end of the festival. Trust me when I say they have a loads of good books; you just need to cash in.
Last year was so much fun as I got visit Olumo rock for the first time, sit next to Ngugi wa Thiong’o and also meet with other authors and creatives. To mention my favorite and insta friend first Lidudumalingani; He’s a photographer from South Africa who took us on a journey of how mental health is perceived in some parts of Africa. I particularly love his pictures as it has a different feel to them and tells a story.
My favorite of all Brymo Olawale was there and of course with his magical voice, he performed live and I just want to relive that moment. Adunni & Nefretiti group was also there to sing their way into our hearts in various indigenous Nigerian languages and it was really beautiful.
One person I heard of just last year and totally love was Falana of Falanamusic; she has such a beautiful voice and guess what? She’ll be at Ake festival this year too. You don’t want to miss this. Do you know Titilope Sonuga and love her poems? Then you have no reason to bail on this.
Okay, this experience is over a year, So forgive me for not going too deep.
Kabafest’17 ( Kaduna Book Art Festival ) however happened earlier this year and it practically saved me from the boring life of Jigawa. I packed my bags and headed for the bus park; Kaduna is just a few hours away. Even though I missed the first day due to work, I had a blast for the rest of the days.
The most beautiful part of kabafest17 was how it brought out people from the north who probably wouldn’t travel as far as Abeokuta for Ake festival. Kabafest17 focused more on the narrative of the north.
There were discussions centered on child marriage, education, women subjugation and pressing issues that mostly affected women of the north and government in particular. I felt like I was part of a change.
Since this post is about things you should know and how to prepare, I’ll not delve so much into what my experience was like. I’ll give useful tips instead.
Here you go:
- Pay for the festival on time: This doesn’t only help you prepare other things but also guarantees that you get your festival pack easily. You also don’t want to be stressing the organizers at rush hour time trying to prepare your pack. The pack contains tickets to stage plays, live performance and other fun but optional activities. I’ll say you shouldn’t miss any.
- Go with an open mind: To perfectly enjoy the festival, you need to declutter your mind of expectations and whatnots. You want to drop them judgements at the gate so you can savor all the good stuff the festival has to offer.
- Pack comfortable clothing: Now, this is very important because you’ll be staying for four good days. You don’t want to be uncomfortable because you didn’t pack the right dress or shoes. You don’t!
- Flats do all the magic. You don’t want to look like you’re attending a fashion week but its all good. Whatever makes you COMFORTABLE.
- Money, money and money: You need more than enough cash. Emergency cash never hurt nobody. You’ll see so many good books and your eyes are gonna twitch. Meal tickets costs 500 naira. This is way better because you don’t really have the time to explore the whole of Abeokuta looking for food. Plus, you need to be in the hall on time for food because food queues are deadass long and you don’t wanna stand till you drop.
- Book hotels on time or secure and accommodation with a friend that lives close to the Art Center : I can’t emphasize this more. You’ll need to make it to lecture theaters on time to get the best seat. I love front sits, so you understand my concern. Plus its a good place to get a good view of everything and cool pictures too.
- Talking about pictures, have your phone or camera well charged. You don’t want to be like me who has no pictures to show for the beautiful time I had. Even though you’ll need to enjoy the moment more than document; these memories are vital and lasts better with pictures. Get the largest memory card if you’re a picture freak like me.
- Akefest buddy: This is also very key if you want to have a good time at the festival. You can either attend the festival with a friend or make one there. I’ll suggest you make one there. See this person as a spice sprinkler on activities.
- For my ladies, your handbags aren’t really important as your Ake pack comes in a tote bag that can contain a lot of things. You don’t want to go around carrying two bags. That’s just plain stressful.
- Yummies: I don’t know what your mission is if you don’t pack snacks and have a water bottle. I didn’t do this last year and not only regretted it but suffered for it. You should always have snacks in your bags to keep your mouth busy and water in case things go south.
Okay, that’s it guys. I hope you have fun and I’ll be expecting to see your pictures online. Don’t forget to tag me in them. It’s the least you can do for me since I won’t be attending.
The festival starts 14th November and ends 18th November 2017. If you haven’t paid then hit this link. Want to know who would be at Ake festival this year and what would be discussed? Here’s everything you need to know.
Side note: Thanks to Aunty Lola Shoneyin for bringing this greatness upon us.
Have you attended a book and art festival before and have a tip of five to add? Then let’s read in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading.
Soaked In Love