AKE FESTIVAL || FANTASTIC FUTURES AND AN EVENING OF ADVENTURE

November 08, 2018

About two weekends ago, the city of Lagos was bubbling with activities! Flights were being made into the city, hotels were being booked, uber and taxify cabs were being booked, restaurants had more food to sell out, and the traffic in the city doubled.
And the one question on everyone's lip was "Ake Festival or Lagos Fashion Show? "  There was an event for the art and culture lovers, the fashion lovers, and everyone else! I mean if you didn't attend any of the event, are you even a lagosian?!  Lol, just kidding though...

When I got the free ticket from Sterling bank, I was super excited! I mean the tickets were ranging from N10,000 / N20,000 / N50,000 and girl is on a budget y'all!
I had the option of attending the fashion show or the ake festival, and with the way I kept talking about the ake festival even before getting the ticket, I knew it wasn't going to be a tough decision; besides I didn't have anyone to go to the fashion show with 😔.

The Ake festival was an all weekend event that started from Thursday through Sunday! Unfortunately, I could only attend on Friday because I already had other things booked for the rest of the weekend.

On Friday, I dressed lovely as you can see 😁 wore my makeup, went to the office for a few hours, then by exactly 11am I booked my uber and when my cab came in, I bid my colleagues goodbye, sat at the back sit of the cab and enjoyed the soft music the driver played while we sailed off to the world of arts and culture (oh well, the event happened at Radisson Blu Hotels Ikeja, but you get the drill)...
I pay my cab fare when we got there, lifted my head up while adjusting my crown and walked into the building like a queen!

Disclaimer || Sterling Bank sponsored my ticket and tag but everything in this post is my experience from that day. 

There were different sections for the registration based on how much you're paying. Then they had a list for influencers, a list for those from Sterling bank,etc.. So I walk to this beautiful lady and tell her I'm from Sterling Bank (remember I'm a queen ☺), she picks up the list, ask me my name, checks the list and looks up at me still smiling, then she says "sorry ma'am you're not on the list." Sweet Jesus! My village people followed me to paradise? Not possible! So, I ask her to check again and same thing! Then I ask her to give me the list to check! Oh boy, was my name on the list? NO!!!!

I quickly bring my phone out of my purse and show them the text from Sterling Bank (oh my crown had vanished and I wasn't in paradise anymore! Now I was in defence mood, FBI and CIA agents got nothing on me right now) and the lady directs me to a sterling bank staff. I explain everything to her she checks her mail and yup my name was on the list on her mail!  Unfortunately I didn't RSVP early enough so they didn't print my name out. Phew, I apologize for not doing that, they apologize for the delay, I get my press tag and my festival guide! Oh boy the queen is back!

Let's talk about the festival people....
The first theatre or hall I stepped into was the Ijakadi Hall for a book chat, the host was Arit Okpo and the writers were Chibundu Onuzo for "welcome to Lagos" and Michael Donkor for "hold".
They talked about the books, did a little reading, and Arit was a great book spoiler for people like me that had not read any of the books! I was hoping the lady I had been reading her book for a while now was going to be one of the authors but unfortunately...

Well, those who had read the book enjoyed this session. After about an hour, there was a panel discussion on "the reality of black Britishness" and the the moderator was Ade Bantu while the panel members were Diana Evans, David Olusoga and Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff.
The discussion was on how many immigrants felt they had few or no legal protections following the centuries of discrimination against the backdrop of a Brexit. So it led many black people from Africa, including children of the Windrush generation to articulate the realities of being black in Britain today. 
This panel lasted over an hour, but I didn't stay till the end because I wanted to go to the film room and see a short film.

In the movie room, I saw "an untold story of slavery" - this short film was about two black slaves who escape into the wilds of 18th century Scotland and they must use all their courage and strength to survive, unite and stay free.

Then I saw "swallow" - swallow explores challenges to good security resulting from our changing climate, inadequate infrastructure and traditional agriculture practices. From the declining number of fish in the Niger Delta to underweight cattle in the north and insufficient rice, wheat, and vegetables, the way we feed ourselves is not sustainable.....  Do you know we have over 19.5 million cows in Nigeria?! Now you know...
My next stop was at Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall for another panel discussion on "the future of poetry".
The moderator was Dami Ajayi and the panel had Theresa Lola, Wana Udobang, Inua Ellams, Logan February and Ishion Hutchinson.
The discussion was about how Africans viewed poetry and how novels had taken over, different ways of promoting poetry on the continent and a lot more. 
I don't really know much on poetry, so I spent just fifteen minutes here Ghent went back to the film room to see "my mother's stew" unfortunately it had already showed and was going to show again on Saturday.

So I watched "call me by my name" - it's a short psychological thrillers that delves into the world of sex, gods and men while firmly situating itself in modern day Africa. 

I really wanted to stay for the concert later that night, but by the time I checked the time, it was almost 8pm and I was 2 hours away from home! And how unpredictable Lagos traffic can be, I didn't want to spend my whole night on the road!

So I quickly get up, bid the girl I met there goodbye and goodnight and hurried out into the street of reality, noise and life with more knowledge than I had earlier!

Have you attended any arts festival? Where you at the Ake Festival? Will you attend the next one next year (that is if they'll be one?). And did you enjoy this post? I'll love to know in the comments section! 

XX. 
Ucheyy. 

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1 comments

  1. This is an amazing post! Lengthy but amazing... Looks like you had a swell time. Well, I've never been to any art festival but I look forward to next year's own.

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