Telling Nigerians stories on the big screen – Pleasure or Purpose, Bringing Poetry to Today’s Generation: Challenges, Potential and Opportunities, Publishing, and the challenges of book accessibility, Art and Activism – Conservation and environmental disasters, Political Reportage, Press Freedom and Responsibility and How to Write about Africa (poverty porn, gender issues) are some of the interesting topics that were discussed in the just concluded Abuja Literary Society annual Literary and Arts Festival tagged ALitFest 2019.
Unlocking the second edition of the three–days event with a creative writing workshop facilitated by (Christopher Merrill, Emily Raboteau, January Gill and Tom Sleigh) representatives from the American Embassy in Abuja had the Mayor of Lagos, Toni Kan in attendance, GTBank dusty manuscript maiden edition winner Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, the creative designer of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book covers – Eghosa Imasuen, representatives from the German Embassy, the US Consulate Ambassador to Nigeria, Chinyere Obi Obasi, member board of trustees Abuja Literary Society among others in attendance.
In his opening speech, the festival director, Buchi Onyegbule who was super excited with joy said “…deliberately the various halls ( Prof Zulu Sofola Hall was used for the main event venue, Amos Tutuola Hall housed curators interested in arts auction, Dan Maraya Hall with excitement during the 3 days hugged the craft and food, Buchi Emecheta Hall was responsible for the final works of the creative mind books as Cyprian Ekwensi Hall accommodated the fast growing tech teens in creative writing workshop. Finally, Ladi Kwali Hall happily gave his hand of friendship for the arts exhibition courtesy of I Can Draw Africa) for the 2019 ALitFest was named after Nigeria’s literary legends.
Audiences from different professions including students within and outside Abuja in attendance were entertained to good music from Jerrel Ebuka, Abuja based solo contemporary performer and The Isomers, a three–man group band.
Antagonist and Protagonist of spoken words poetry were taken on a remarkable journey by Deji Ige popularly known and called the ancestral god of poetry as he passionately appreciate the feminine folks especially motherhood why provoking attendees to always and at all times show unbiased love towards their mothers. The capacity filled Prof Zulu Sofola Hall were mesmerized to a never before seen creative intelligence poetry scenario according to the Mayor of Lagos as displayed during the poetry slam where Luqman Hussan narrowly super glued ALitFest 2019 Poetry Slam cash prize of Two Hundred Thousand naira. A next rated poet – Adekunbi LARDO, who was the first runner up was the spotlight of the evening as she poetically finds her way into the heart, soul, mind and gained instant access to the cash machine of Toni Kan.
In stamp sealing the festival, the movie – 4th Republic was screen as audience get to experience for the very first time a stage drama titled – “Wedlock of the Gods”, written, produced and acted by the Abuja Literary Society.