The 2016 Ake Arts and Book Festival is here again, and without a doubt, it is becoming one of the most glamorous book festivals in Africa. A lot of people wonder why book lovers from all over Africa leave their beloved nations to come to Abeokuta for the festival—it is for the love of books, and the beauty of that ancient city of Abeokuta.
Abeokuta, which means the city beyond the rocks, is a city that is caught in its own capsule of time. Everything in the city still looks old and vintage, and as ever, visitors are in awe of the glory and majesty of what the rock city is about.
At the Press luncheon held at the White House Hotel in Ikeja for the 2016 Festival, the festival Director, Lola Shoneyin, when responding to questions from journalists said, that the festival has enough brand strength to develop tourism in Abeokuta. But certain mitigating factors, such as proper transportation system, security and others, are hampering the pace of the development, and that unless it is put in place there is little that can be done.
“If you look at the energy of what it will take to move 70-100 people from one place to the other in this country, putting security challenges and other factors into consideration, it looks basically impossible”, she said. “There are times you will spend almost 4 hours in traffic from Lagos to Abeokuta, and there are day you spend less than an hour. Until these issues are fixed, there is nothing we can do.’’
The Ake Arts and Book festival, which is in its 5th year, will be starting from the 15th to the 19th of November, in the city of Abeokuta. Literary Icon, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, will headline this year’s edition of the festival.
Visit www.akefestival.org to find out more about the festival. See Images of Major highlights of the festival below: