The much anticipated inaugural edition of the Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF) has come and gone but the memory lingers on.
Held recently at the British Council premises in Ikoyi, Lagos, the event was designed to showcase children’s books written by African authors or books written by authors from around the world for children of colour.
It featured an array of activities such as workshops for writers and illustrators, author showcase, interactive and engaging workshops for children, soft skill masterclasses for teachers and parents amidst a whole lot more.
The festival, an initiative of the publisher of Clever Clogs Books, Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, was officially declared open by the special guest of the day, Publisher of The Guardian Newspapers, Lady Maiden Alex Ibru.
The workshops kicked off with a session titled ‘’When I Grow Up” facilitated by Queen’s Young Leader awardee and MTV Europe Generation Change award winner, Hauwa Ojeifo, while Dr. Seun Akinbohun took the session “Good with Money”.
Founder of Lagos Mums, Yetty Williams and Programmes Manager, Schools, Education and Society at the British Council, Lynda Ashaolu, both spoke at different sessions of parents’ workshop on child protection on the same topic, “Being Your Child’s Superhero.“
Children’s Book author and Co-pastor of Fountain of Life Church, Nomthi Odukoya read her book at the pop-up library and spoke at a children’s workshop on the topic, “You May, But I Will Not.” Also at Pop-up library were series of book reading sessions including one by the special guest of the day Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru and another by the Chairman of Punch Mrs. Angela Emuwa among others.
There were also professional workshops for book writers and illustrators. At one of them children’s book author and convener of the Akada Children’s Book Festival, Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi spoke to writers and aspiring writers on the topic, “Writing Engaging Children’s Books.”
Other sessions were facilitated by Founder of OloriSupergal, Tosin Ajibade; Omilola Oshikoya – CEO of the Omilola Oshikoya International Company; award winning design artist Michael Okoroagha; illustrator, Ebuka; and Chika Ezeabiama – partner, Epoch Comics.
Family Life Therapist, Praise Fowowe and Medical Director of Pinnacle Medical Services, popularly known as the Celebrity shrink, Dr. Maymunah Kadiri both spoke on different sessions of parents’ popular workshop “Reading the Signs, Hearing What They Don’t Say”, while former Big Brother Naija housemate and media personality, Alex “Unusual” Asogwa spoke on the topic “Stop That Bully.”
A keenly contested writing competition, which began before the festival with participants having to write on the topic “Hidden Treasures”, had the results announced on the day of the festival.
Ademide Onafowokan emerged first overall with a total of 85 marks, the first runner-up was Victor O. Momoh with 75 marks and the second runner-up was Folajinmi Agaba with 70 marks. Some other honorable mentions include Nesochi Okonkwo, Moradeke, Olamide Ogunlary and Iremide Olubona – all with 70 marks also.