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Ben Okri to Headline the 2019 African Book Festival in Berlin

By Nkem Egenuka on Thu, 21/03/2019 - 17:37

Ben Okri will headline the 2019 African Book Festival in Berlin which would be curated by Tsitsi Dangarembga. The event would hold on the 4th -7th April, 2019, at the historic cinema, Babylon, Berlin.

This year’s festival is organised by InterKontinental with the theme, “Transitioning from Migration”. It would feature panel discussions, talks, interviews, concerts and others. Countries from across Africa like Nigeria, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Somalia, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Sudan, Liberia, Malawi, would all be represented.


During the festival in 2018, writers from across Africa and its diaspora gathered in Berlin for the African Book Festival with Chris Abani as the headliner. The festival organised by InterKontinental and curated by Olumide Popoola looked at transnationalism and migration. It featured 40 writers and focused on Nigerian writing. The 2019 event would gather artists from 21 countries of the world with up to 46 creatives, and the focus would be on Zimbabwean writing.

Nigerian writers Sefi Atta and Chiké Frankie Edozien will represent the west-African literary giant, while Senegal-based Ghanaian writer Ayesha Harruna Attah will celebrate the March release of the German translation of her historical novel The Hundred Wells of Salaga.

Other participating writers include Zakes Mda, Fred Khumalo, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, Christopher Mlalazi, Ayesha Harruna Attah, Elma Shaw, Thando Mgqolozana, Ijangolet S Ogwang, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Shadreck Chikoti, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Emmanuel Sigauke, Fungai Tichawangana, Donald Molosi and Panashe Chigumadzi.


At the festival, Ben Okri will present his newest novel The Freedom Artist, which is an examination of how freedom is intimidated in a post-truth society.

Ben Okri is one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions. He is the first and only Nigerian so far, that has won the Booker Prize for Fiction for his book, The Famished Road. He has authored eleven novels and various poetry collections, essays and short stories. Okri has received the Commonwealth Writers‘ Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Preis, and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore Preis and he is the The vice president of the English Centre of International PEN.





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