Today in #TheLagosReview

Ake festival 2019 to kick off tomorrow.

Book lovers, literary stakeholders and everyone inbetween are by now converging in an awkward line towards the most desirable destination any book head can be this season.

Lagos.

Why?

Because the Ake festival 2019 kicks off tomorrow.

The theme for the 2019 edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival is Black Bodies | Grey Matter, so the conversations will explore how our minds and bodies have impacted – and been impacted by – the course of history.

How have the contributions – physical and mental – shaped the world for both good and ill? What echoes of the past do we still hear today? Multiculturalism, colonialism, internecine violence, organised religion, cultural attitudes and practices have all left their mark. Specific phenomena such as scarification and tattoos leave physical traces while colourism, stereotyping and gender non-conformity exert their influence on both psyche and soma. Interrogation of these issues yields fascinating and illuminating insights, and in the hands of creatives and thinkers gives rise to works that enrich our understanding of the African condition.

Organised in partnership with Sterling, Ake Festival will once again bring together writers, artists, filmmakers, poets, dancers and thinkers from all over the world to support the goal of developing, promoting and celebrating creativity on the African continent. As such, the finest of contemporary African literature, music, art, film and theatre will be showcased in over sixty events.

Headliner

Every year, the Festival is headlined by an African writer who has shaped literary culture and has challenged readers within and outside the continent through their storytelling. This year, Ake Festival will honour award-winning Zimbabwean author and film-maker, Tsitsi Dangaremgba. Her novel, Nervous Conditions, was the first novel in English by a Zimbabwean woman. It won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989 and is considered one of the twelve best African novels ever written. She will be interviewed by distinguished journalist and editor, Molara Wood in the Ake Festival Life and Times Series.

Inspiring Panel Discussions

From 25 to 27 October, visitors to Ake Festival will be able to participate in 17 stimulating panel discussions which will tackle issues relating to the black body. Issues such as body modification and social acceptance; eliminating sexual violence; religious extremism in Nigeria and the mental health explosion, to mention a few.

Book Chats

In addition, there will be 12 book chats with exciting authors including Jamaican-American Nicole Dennis-Benn; Booker Prize shortlisted Angolan writer Jose Agualusa; two-time Booker Prize nominee Chigozie Obioma; feminist powerhouse Mona Eltahawy; founder of the African Poetry Prize, Bernardine Evaristo; award-winning Ugandan writer Jennifer Makumbi; We are delighted to welcome celebrated Nigerian authors like Helon Habila, Adaobi Nwaubani, Chika Unigwe and Ake Festival advisory board member Toni Kan. Abdourahman Waberi, one of Francophone Africa’s literary stars, will also join us from Paris.

Theatre, Concert and Art Exhibition

Other highlights of the festival include the Art exhibition which will showcase photographs that celebrate the diverse representations of the black body and mind. There will be on stage in Nigeria for the first time, an electrifying performance by dub-poet D’bi Anitafricka. Throughout the festival, there will be several films and documentaries on the big screen. No one should miss the performances by Nigerian and international poets on Sunday evening (27 October), same goes for the music concert featuring acts from the Lagos alternative music scene.

If you missed the online registration deadline, not to worry, you can still register at the venue.

Art Summit Nigeria; 2019 line-up and all

We are just days away from the biggest art conference in Nigeria! Art Summit 2019 will focus on the vital and transformative role of collaboration in expanding and creating opportunities for the art industry to thrive.

The Art Summit Nigeria’s Experiential Pavilion provides a unique audience engagement experience. Showcasing art created with new technologies such as soundscapes video projections, 4D and site-specific installations.

Exhibiting Artists for this year’s Art Summit will include:

Keisha Scarville, Francois Knoetze, The Critics Company,
Akinola Davies Jr, Jonathan Chambalin, Bolatito Aderemi Ibitola, Klein, Medina Dugger and Bubu Ogisi

The summit will be at the Queenspark events center, Water Corporation drive/ Trinity Avenue. Off Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island Lagos.

Register at: http://artsummitng.org/register

LABAF2019 – SYMPOSIUM @Kongi’s Harvest

Ever wondered how the book industry in Nigeria has continued to weather the headwinds that characterise most businesses in the country over the years? The answer is at this year’s LABAF where a symposium is to hold under the theme: The Long Drought and The New Harvest. It is an international dialogue that will be as enlightening as it is educative.

Subject 1 How we wangled through-The collapse of the Book Industry, the poetry of hunger and the Jackboots of the military dictator

Subject 2: How we have emerged-The new architecture of literature, publishing and the return of readers

Date: Saturday, Nov 9, 2019

Time: 5 pm

Venue: Kongi’s Harvest Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos

Don’t miss #Labaf2019

MTV Shuga Naija Season 4 Review

MTV Shuga Naija has been around since late 2013 and if there is anything the popular youth-focused franchise has figured out by now, it is how to give the people what they want.

Three seasons, increasingly deep messaging and growing eyeballs later, MTV Shuga Naija is back for a fourth season and by the look of things nothing has been compromised – not the storytelling, not the hardworking cast and certainly not the quality the critically acclaimed drama has been known for since its inception.

In season 4, we meet new characters and continue to follow the old on the journey we last saw them embarking on.

Ebisinde (Abayomi Alvin) is locked up in a police cell, with no hopes of getting out. A fate the audience will find inevitable after he was caught during a botched attempt at a spare parts robbery in the last season. Not only is Ebisinde locked up, his talented elder sister who has her own problems – raped yet being hounded by cameras while people question her credibility – has no money to bail her brother from behind bars.

There’s also Frances (Ruby Akubeze) whose tell-all presentation during a school performance has done nothing to relieve her of her pain. In an interesting but familiar twist of events, she is thrust into a panel filled with hawk-eyed parents who barrage her with unnecessary questions. Suddenly, their concerns disturbingly lie with the idea of a party on a school night as opposed to an innocent teenager violated at the said party. The victim suddenly becomes the criminal and these parents whose first instincts should be to protect, are more worried about the creases the situation may cast on their pristine reputation. A depiction that is an incredibly good illustration of the average Nigerian parent’s eerily familiar reaction to cases such as Frances’.

MTV Shuga Naija does not deviate this season. The show continues on its journey to focus on women in this climate. This season’s messaging toes the life of young women – a move that worked well for the last season. Yasmin (Rahama Sadau) and her husband’s lovely marriage, is threatened by prying in-laws up north. Meanwhile, back in Molade memorial, Diana continues to hold sway as the resident Queen Bee while constantly waxing new devious ways to mess up everyone’s lives. Including hers.

This new season also ushers in fresh faces. There’s Barbie (Omowunmi Dada) and Moji who really prefers to be called ‘MJ’ played by Belinda Yanga, two women who instantly grab attention when they pop on screen. And it has nothing to do with their colorful wigs or extravagant clothes.

The performances are good as usual. Since season 3, when the show particularly took it upon itself to bring more fresh faces to the screen, the show has taken a new turn to reinforce its stance in telling its truth.

Abayomi Alvin continues to be good as Ebisinde. A young boy who is nothing like his drunk father and who will go out of his way to do right by his sisters. His emotions suck you in and threaten to pull you apart on screen. There is also Ruby Akubeze whose Nollywood future promises to be bright especially if she insists on the right projects and scripts. Bukola Oladipupo continues to wow as Faa and one cannot wait to see how she plays her character when she eventually shares the screen with veteran, Richard Mofe Damijo. A notable mention is Timini Egbuson, who has played Tobi since the beginning of the show. Like his character, Egbuson’s acting has increasingly grown and by season 4, not only is the audience witnessing immense growth in his character arc, Timini’s growth as an actor is evident and applaudable. Newcomers, Omowunmi Dada and Belinda Yanga are also not afraid to play in these waters. They hold nothing back as they show off skills that reveal to the audience how good the casting decision to have them on screen is.

Perhaps what MTV Shuga Naija does best this season is to balance old faces with the new, while navigating the same waters of selling its story through fresh angles. It’s refreshing like the new theme song, welcome and most likely going to be a winner with their already established audience and new converts.

MTV Shuga season 4 returns on the 23rd of October, 2019.

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