“If you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book.”
Although this statement may be a bit exaggerated, it rings true for many Africans.
Which is why in a bid to promote the reading culture amongst Nigerians as well as encourage them to tell their stories, history and preserve their culture, books and arts festivals are organised each year.
These festivals bring together fiction and nonfiction czars, publishers, and cultural enthusiast, poets and book lovers to review their works and discuss the future of the written. Jovago.com, Africa’s No 1 hotel booking portal rounds up three book festivals to check out in Nigeria.
AKE Arts and Book festival
When the Ake arts and book festival debuted three years ago, it was on a small scale. Since the first edition, it has become an annual event to look forward to.
Organised under the aegis of Book Buzz Foundation, the festival is held in the ancient city of Abeokuta for four days in the month of November.
According to the festival’s web page, “It features master classes and workshops in various aspects of performance art, readings, comprehensive book fair, school visits, stage play, visual art, drama, fashion, music, film, dance, writing and much more.” Of course, there is a rendezvous among seasoned writers.
However, to participate in the festival, you have to pay a registration fee of N2,000.
Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF)
Arguably one of the longest running festivals in Nigeria, the Lagos Book and Arts Festival encapsulates everything literary.
It is a festival that is mainly focused on halting the nosediving reading culture through ideas such as film screening, exhibition, author’s discussions, publisher’s forum, and visual arts.
The festival has been consistently put together by Committee of Relevant Arts (CORA) for 17 years and it’s waxing stronger. It is usually held in November at Freedom Park for three days and attendees can stay here throughout the festival.
Port Harcourt Book Festival
Formerly known as the Garden City Literary Festival, the Port Harcourt Festival came to prominence when the state was declared and confirmed as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Book Festival for the year 2014.
It was a well-deserved recognition because the festival which has the backing of the Rivers State government has an international outlook as writers from different parts of Africa and the globe usually grace the event.
The festival features book fair, exhibition, symposia, meet-the-author sessions, book signings and children’s events. It is a six-day literary festival and to find out where to stay during the event, click here.