"I vote to read": The 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival kicks off this Friday

by Sola Fasasi

On Friday, the 13th edition of the influential “cultural picnic”, the Lagos Book and Art Festival, will start this Friday at the Freedom Park in Lagos. The festival will hold from November 18 – 20, and will kick off with two colloquiums as well as a big festival party headlined by the iconic Fatai Rolling Dollars.

In those three days, 26 books will be reviewed and discussed under eight sub-themes in 10 panel sessions. “The discussants are some of the most thought provoking members of the Nigerian chattering classes,” said Toyin Akinosho, who is with the Festival.

Pre-Festival activities include the Opening of the National Reading Week on Thursday, November 17 at the Goethe Institut. It will also include a Publishers Forum themed Bridging the Digital Divide; which is a business forum for publishers designed to add value to their business through critical feedback on processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and useful networking. This year’s Forum will run a set of seminars on harnessing digital applications available today for the publishing industry.

There will also be a Publishers’ Interface With The Public/Pre-festival cocktail (Open event) – which is a roundtable discussion involving some publishers and some ranking writers and journalists, will explore the publishing business from the digital perspective and key projects that the publishers have undertaken or currently have under development within that context. A cocktail will round off the discussions.

On Saturday, the 17th during the event, YNaija’s sister brand, Y! Magazine will host  Mapping The Future where four young authors and publishers under 35 will discuss the changing landscape of the publishing industry and express, in detail, their dreams/plans in contributing to the revamp.

The Festival is supported by Vanguard Media Limited, The Guardian Newspapers, by the National Theatre, Coca Cola, Platform Petroleum, Pillar Oil, Century Energy Services, Z-Mirage, Freedom Park, the Nigeria LNG, Renegade Theatre and Centre For Black &African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), and the Goethe Institute.


See the full festival schedule below!


FRIDAY (November 18), 9am-1pm (FREEDOM PARK)

1. (9 am, Hall 2) My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment- Tunde Babawale (Director General CBAAC)-a motivational talk to kids, kicks open the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

2. (11am-1pm, Hall 1) The Festival Colloquium (I): Theme: Documenting The Governance Challenges: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other-I: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a) A Swamp Full Of Dollars- Michael Peel (b) Dinner With Mugabe-Heidi Holland; (c) A Continent For The Taking- Howard French.

Friday, (November 18), 1pm-3pm(FREEDOM PARK)

2A. (1pm-3pm, Hall 1)The Festival Colloquium (II) Arrested Development: “Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a) The State Of Africa-Martin Meredith, (b) Nigeria: Dancing On The Brink-John Campbell, (c) It’s Our Turn To Eat-Michaela Wrong

Friday, (November 18), 3pm-5pm(FREEDOM PARK)

3. How Familiar Is This Town? The City As A Key Character In the Fictional Narratives Of The Continent.


Readings, Reviews, and discussions around

(1) Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola)-, by Ondjaki

(2)The Yacoubian Building(Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany

(3) The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria)

(4)Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda)-Doreen Baigana

(5) Under The Brown Rusted Roofs(Ibadan, Nigeria)



SATURDAY, (November 19), 10am-1pm(FREEDOM PARK)

4. (11am-1pm) My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment- Austin Avuru (Petroleum Geologist and Author/Managing Director, Seplat Petroleum)-a motivational talk to kids ..  (12noon to 1.30pm)

5. (12noon to 1.30pm) Town Talk1: Theme: Books as tools of The Knowledge Economy: Can a book make you rich? A top notch panel of discussants review the role of books in the Knowledge Economy, using three books as take off points: Hot, Flat And Crowded- Tom Friedman, The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell, The Ascent Of Money-Niall Ferguson

5B. (1.30pm to 3pm)Town Talk2: Theme: The Book As Key To The Knowledge Economy:

A conversation around Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Saturday, (November 19),

6. (3pm-4pm, Hall 1) Challenging The Present: African Authors And The Global

Discourse On Governance: Readings, Reviews and Discussions around: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working And What Can Be Done About It, By Dambissa Moyo, When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil and The Ogoni Struggle For Self Determination By Ike Okonta.

 Musical Interlude/Live Performance (FREEDOM PARK)

Saturday, (November 19), 4pm-6pm

7. Mapping The Future: Four young authors and publishers under 35, discuss the changing landscape of the publishing industry and express, in detail, their dreams/plans in contributing to the revamp. Inserted in this conversation is a 25 minute presentation by Toni Kan with a working title: What happened to The Pace Setter Series- and when will the new Nigerian thriller come?

Saturday, (November 19), 6pm-10pm (FREEDOM PARK)

8. Festival Birthday Party

Combined birthday party for: Fatai Rolling [email protected] 85, Chukwuemeka Ike @80, Benson [email protected] 75, Taiwo [email protected] 70, Ebun Clark @ 70; Charly Boy @ 60; Richard Mofe-Damijo @50; Yeni Kuti @50; Joke Silva @50; Femi Akintunde-Johnson @ 50; Tunde Babawale @ 50; Sola Olorunyomi @ 50; Remi Raji @ 50



SUNDAY, November 20, 12noon (FREEDOM PARK)

9. Arthouse Forum: Art Of The Biography:Reviews and discussions of Femi Osofisan’s J. P. Clark: A Voyage, Adewale Pearce’s A Peculiar Tragedy: J. P. Clark and the beginning of modern Nigerian literature and Dele Olojede/Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo’s Born To Run: a biography of Dele Giwa.

Sunday, November 20, 2pm (FREEDOM PARK)

10. Stampede- The Nigerian Abroad: Fictional Accounts Of The Immigrant Experience. A panel discussion on the The Phoenix By Chika Unigwe, Some Kind Of Black, By Diran Adebayo, 26A By Dianne Evans, A Squatter’s Tale, By Ike Oguine, Her Majesty’s Visit, By Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, Icarius Girl -By Helen Oyeyemi, Lawless, by Sefi Atta, The Thing Around Your Neck, By Chimamanda Adichie.

Sunday, November 20, 6pm (FREEDOM PARK)

11. Festival Play: Waiting Room by Wole Oguntokun: To Commemorate A Fresh Start Of Our Democracy.





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Comments (2)

  1. Where is City Hall? Or do you mean City Mall?

  2. Where in Lago is City Hall? Or you man City Mall?

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail