Our LABAF 2021 Diary

We had quite a remarkable outing at the just-concluded Lagos Book and Arts Festival titled “A Fork in the Road”. From November 15 – 21, 2021, the members and authors of Purple Shelves had a great week of learning, unlearning, and relearning with other lovers and patrons of literature, culture, and the arts.

The festival, which was dedicated to Dame Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett on the occasion of her 80th birthday had the creme de la creme of Nigeria’s literati including publishers, authors, actors and literary enthusiasts in attendance. For us, it was quite the outing.

On Thursday, 18 November 2021, our very own Amarachukwu Chimeka was part of the annual Publisher’s Forum panel curated by Richard Mammah, President, Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters. The two-part session also featured Gbadega AdedapoChairman, Nigerian Book Fair TrustDare OluwatuyiPresident, Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN, Uchenna Cyril AniokePresident, Nigerian Publishers Association, NPA and Nkem OsuigweAfrican Library and Information Associations & Institutions; Princess Irede Abumere, Convener, Sunshine Book Club; Funmi Ilori, Founder/CEO, I-Read Mobile Library; among others.

On Friday, 19 November 2021, The Riddle of the Oil Thief by HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo was featured in a session tagged Symposium with the theme, “How did it all go so awfully wrong”. The session was chaired by Professor Femi Osofisan and had such reviewers as Richard Mammah to review Formation: the Making of Nigeria from Lugard to Amalgamation by Fola Fagbule and Feyi Fawehinmi; Tade Ipadeola to review The Politics of Biafra & Future of Nigeria by Chudi Offodile; and Samuel Osaze to review The Riddle of the Oil Thief by His Royal Majesty King Bubaraye Dakolo.

After the reviewers gave their submissions, there were deliberations about Nigeria and how the country got to its current state. The sessions also got some insightful interventions from others in attendance including Professor Nike Clark, wife of the late poet, Professor JP Clark.

HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo joins others like Sam Omatseye, Professor Femi Osofisan, Professor Nike Clark, to cut a cake in celebration of the 80th birthday of Dame Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett.

On Saturday, 20 November 2021, there were two BookTrek sessions titled The Joy of Reading to review and discuss our books, The Riddle of the Oil Thief, and I, Eric Ngalle. The first session with HRM King Dakolo was hosted by Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe, a celebrated author, photographer, and actress. The second with Eric Ngalle Charles was hosted by Samuel Osaze, a seasoned journalist and a celebrated poet. The videos of both sessions are available on YouTube.

On Sunday, 21 November 2021, Amarachukwu Chimeka collaborated with author and CNN/Multichoice Award-Winning Travel Journalist, Pelu Awofeso, to host the second edition of The Booklist, a series of readings to promote and enhance social consciousness and nation-building. The event with the theme, “Sorosoke: What Has Changed?” was moderated by Dimeji Bankole and graced by Professor Akachi Ezegbo, HRM King Bubaraye Dakolo, Nze Sylva, Iquo DianaAbasi, Olukorede Yishau, Aysha Abdullahi, and Onome Onwah. The video for this session is up on the LABAF website.

We did enjoy and have a memorable LABAF 2021.

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