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Watch: Panels from the Ake Festival Online Now

The coronavirus of 2020 wreaked havoc on literally hundreds of planned events around the world. From red carpet events to concerts, event organizers scrambled to postpone or rethink the best way to execute their plans.

The Ake Festival – which holds in Nigeria every October – is one of those to successfully make the leap to an online event.

Described as “the African continent’s biggest annual gathering of literary writers, editors, critics and readers”, since its founding in 2013 by Lola Shoneyin, the festival has hosted some of the brightest minds and leading lights of African descent from across the world.

Attendees are able to meet and listen to the likes of Hugo, Nebula and Eisner award winning novelist Nnedi Okoroafor, celebrated writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. Each edition of the Ake Festival can be counted on to bring together talented people from all over the world.

The 2020 edition was no different.

Head over to the Ake festival YouTube page to watch and listen to some of the best young literary artists and creatives from Africa. We picked a few to highlight below.


Join Wana Udobang on a trip around the globe to showcase some of the most talented poets performing today. We’re heading to South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Jamaica, UK, Uganda, and Sudan to meet some amazing poets.


Abdulkareem Baba-Aminu hosts this panel featuring Nnedi Okorafor, Marlon James and Roye Okupe as they talk about the worlds that they have created and the process of mining African legends, folklore and history to create art.


Join Yemisi Adegoke as she leads a panel, including Sara-Jayne King, Aleya Kassam and Diana Yekinni, that faces the challenges of home-grown and colonial infused biases in race and skin-color and discusses the history of Colorism and Tribalism and what can be done to amend it.

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