#AkeFest16 – The Ake Festival bookstore is every reader’s haven

Ake Festival

When Ify announced my placement in Ake and she told me that I will be working in the bookstore, I was not happy because I thought I would be missing the major events in the arena. However, I soon discovered that the bookstore is where the major and exciting events take place. 

The line manager in the bookstore is a hard working and dedicated man. He is Tosin Adeyemi and he’s always on the move; moving, packing, tagging and arranging books. He’s so fond of saying, “Thank you Titi” for anything he asks me to do in the bookstore. 

Ake Festival

There’s the cool and calm guy at the extreme end of the store who is Nanzi. He’s hardworking. He moves from the bookstore to the media store…basically, he’s all over. There are also other volunteers like Ajoke, Dimeji, Adedayo and Olusoji who are ever ready to satisfy the customers. 

Ake Festival

As different shades of feet fade into different shades of faces that troop into the bookstore, the hardest part of it is getting the right pronunciation of their names.

I met Kwame from Ghana who taught me how to pronounce Yaa “Gyasi”, the author of Homegoing. He said, “When you remember the way “Jackson” is pronounced in American then you can pronounce her name properly.” 

Tendai Huchu showed up with his long dreadlocks. I had a selfie with him and he bought me The Hairdresser of Harare. You need to read the book. It’s captivating. You won’t drop it until you finish it. 

Ake Festival

I also met Sarah Ladipo Manyika,  she smiles a lot. The volunteers had a selfie with her. I asked her how she was able to vividly capture Ibadan in “Independence”. She said her father is a Nigerian.

Pearl Osibu, a writer for BBC Short Stories, came around too. Sebastian Lorscher, the author of ‘Making Friends in Bangalore‘ came to check his books on the shelf. 

Dzekashu Macviban from Cameroon, a Journalist, Writer, Techie. Founding Editor of @bakwa_magazine and Assisting Editor of This is Africa (TIA) stopped by as well. We talked on  Abouet’s film character and he said he enjoyed it. 

Shadreck Chikoti, author of “Azotus The Kingdom” from Malawi came around to buy his friend’s book, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s “Season of Crimson Blossoms”.

Ake Festival

I met Chinelo who selected few books and said she will have to go home and sleep over her trust funds then come back for them. 

The highlight of the day was when the music concert time was drawing near and people came trooping in. I almost gave up that I would miss the concert. While balancing my sales for the day with Tosin Adeyemi, Brymo walked in to buy books and he got me a book and signed it. I had a selfie with him.

Ake Festival

The turn up at the music festival was topnotch. Brymo, Falana and Adunni Nefertiti lauded the audience with their amazing voices and energetic dances.

I’m so glad I got placed in the bookstore.

About Titilayo Adeoye

Titilayo Adeoye

Nigerian writer, Titilayo Adeoye is a graduate of Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Bits of her creative gems have appeared or are forthcoming on African Writer, Kalahari Reviews, Avocet Journal #204 and elsewhere. She edits for Kraft Books, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Are you at the 2016 Ake Festival and you would love to share your experience with us? Send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 


#AkeFest16: A review of ‘Aya de Yopougon’ screen filming at Ake Festival

Every lover of literature in Nigeria knows that the Ake Festival is currently going on. If you didn’t know, where have you been? 

A lot of awesome activities have taken place since the festival officially kicked off a few days ago and we are so excited to see like minds coming together to celebrate African literature and arts. 

In this new #AkeFest16 series with Titilayo Adeoye, we will bring you highlights from the Ake Festival from Titilayo’s lens. Exciting right?

Today, Titilayo shares a review of the ‘Aya de Yopougon’ screen filming with us. Enjoy! 

Titilayo Adeoye

There is a buzz that comes when you’re in Ake Festival: the feeling that places you in a space, very imaginary, above other writers or literature lovers. That feeling of getting to meet people, taking selfies, eating, talking more and doing other sillies in the ambience of learning and exposure. 

So I was supposed to go see the movie with fellow volunteers, Adedayo, Móje, Stephanie, and Dimeji.  The session was a screening  of Aya, an animated movie/documentary by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie. I was seated with the all eccentric Adedayo who was sharing a drink with me. That boy can disturb for Africa.  He kept passing comments on everything he laid his eyes on.

The movie started with a very funny beer commercial where real people were drinking and all. The hall jeered in response. “What if we are what animations watch in the TV?” Adedayo reacted.


I am actually leaving an information out.  Monday evening when we were sorting out drinks,  Ngugi Wa Thiong’O came to the Banquet Hall where I had the privilege to take a selfie (I like to feel myself sometimes, I was the only one who had an exclusive selfie with the legend).

While we were in the cinema hall, Ngugi, who Lola Shoneyin addresses as Baba, walked into the hall. News reached us that he ordered for the kind of palm wine that blurred the eyes of the characters of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. He asked to sit at the back and the bottom line is,  for the whopping second time, he was sitting with me!

Now that my important information is out of the way, let’s get back to the review. Aya is a reflection of other things that happen in Africa aside from war and Cote d’Ivoire was the setting. The story was one that showed the lives of different families with different affluence levels and the effect of beer, girls,  work and other factors on their lives and the society at large.

The animations were just apt and awesome.

Guess what?I had a selfie with Marguerite Abouet after the screen play.


The night folded with the closure of the movie, the waking of a sleeping Adedayo and the rush to get our bags,  camera, volunteer shirt and other things. We walked our tired bodies to the hotel and we anticipate tomorrow’s activities. 

About Titilayo Adeoye

Titilayo Adeoye

Nigerian writer, Titilayo Adeoye is a graduate of Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Bits of her creative gems have appeared or are forthcoming on African Writer, Kalahari Reviews, Avocet Journal #204 and elsewhere. She edits for Kraft Books, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Are you at the 2016 Ake Festival and you would love to share your experience with us? Send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

Sparkle Reviews – Making a Difference with Your NYSC Year by Frances Okoro


Hey Sparkle Writers. As you know, we’re all about promoting the good works of writers around the world. Today, we’re featuring a book released by an outstanding writer whose aim is to use her book to help Nigerian graduates going for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Her name is Frances Okoro (You can find out more about her in our #WriterSpotlight interview with her)

Let’s get right into Frances’ new book, ‘Making a Difference with Your NYSC Year’. Here are 6 reasons why you just have to read this book:

nysc book cover

1) It is very practical. If you are about to go for NYSC or you’re already in your it, Frances gives very practical tips on how you can make a difference during your NYSC year. She gives examples of things graduates can do to improve their skills and give back to the society. We think that’s awesome.

2) You’ll learn how to manage your service year. There are many horrible stories about the NYSC scheme. In fact, there are more negative news about the scheme than there are positive news. Frances’ book is a breath of fresh air. She will make you see the positive side of the NYSC. We love the fact that she addresses the mind set of graduates which she describes as “the biggest obstacle to making a difference with your service year.”

3) It will help you to develop a culture of savings. Have trouble saving money? Do you believe you can only save when you have a huge income? Well, Frances shows you a practical way of saving even when you earn little. Corps members get a stipend of N19,800 and it is wrongly believed that it is impossible to save anything from this money. In this book, you’ll find a guide that will help you consistently save a percentage of your allawee every month which will end up being a huge amount (going into thousands of Naira) at the end of your service year.


4) You’ll get real advice about what you can do to make a difference. Some people pay lip service to the idea of touching lives. They tell you to do it but they don’t show you how. This not the case with Frances. She tells you different projects you can do, how to get funding for those projects and she even includes a sample sponsorship letter which you just need to tweak to suit your personal project.

5) The book is very easy to read. Did we tell you that Frances is an outstanding writer? Yes, we did. Not only is this book easy to ready, it is also easy to understand. Just about 54 pages, once you pick up the book, you’ll keep going right until the end. Every page is laced with valuable words of wisdom and you can always refer to a particular idea discussed long after you have finished reading the book.

6) Frances knows what she’s talking about. Out of all the reasons we’ve given; this, perhaps, is the most important one. Frances knows what she is talking about. She is not giving you abstract advice. Everything she writes about in the book, Frances has practiced. She successfully saved N70,000 from her allawee, she started a personal business, she held seminars in schools, she released two books and had a successful book launch; all in one year! If Frances can do it, you can do it too.

Don’t waste any more time; order your copy of ‘Making a Difference with Your NYSC Year’ right now on Amazon Kindle, Okada Books or using PayPal.

Copies of the book can also be purchased from The Oasis, 3 Keystone Bank Crescent, Off Adeyemo Alakija Street Lagos. For further information or orders, call 07035539092 for further information or for orders.