The 2017 Ake Arts and Book Festival is here. Founded in 2013 by Lola Shoneyin, Orange Prize-longlisted author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and director of Book Buzz Foundation, the Ake Arts and Book Festival is, quite simply, the biggest annual gathering of African literary writers, founders, editors, critics, readers, everybody on…
So, today I will be talking about the newfound world of African literature. Or, atleast, this whole glorious universe is still shiny and new to me. (Picked up my first book of African stories in primary school, but it was not serious then..) It turns out that there are festivals and concerts of sorts centred around African literature, (see link above) … and I am so here for it.
I sincerely believe we need to start shaping our stories for ourselves, and control the narratives. Too many of us readers (look at me including my struggling self) hunger for stories so far removed from our own cultures that it bothers me. We are, too often, not cognizant of the fact that what we consume is shapes our thoughts alot more than we give it credit for. Now, I do realize that we have quite a way to go, in terms of accepting our own content, (looking at you in particular, Kenya) but I am happy to report that more and more of us are waking up to the brilliant goldmine of stories we still have to tell.
Acknowledging that we all have a part to play in growing this rebirth of story telling, gifted or no, is the thing we must not forget.