Ake 2015 Diaries

Ake Festival 2015.


Dear readers,
I was privileged to be a part of the Ake Arts and Books Festival 2015 as a volunteer and I was part of a team of an amazing people that helped put the festival together.
Afterwards, I felt like our stories should be shared but I also wanted individual voices telling these stories from behind the scenes from their own perspective.
Each story has a date and a name of the volunteer telling the story. Do enjoy!

Day 1, Sunday 17th November 2015

Entry 01
I was excited. It was my second time volunteering and I already knew what to expect to an extent, I just didn’t know who else would be on the team. Abeokuta, here I come.
The drive from Aro to Kuto brought back memories from Ake Festival 2014; such fun times and amazing people and it never feels like those five days…

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To belong

The mastery of words this is


You are here
And it owns you
You belong to some sort of emotion
Which makes your smile the brightest but your heart is the heaviest
Your laughter is light
But the dark knows your soul
Like the ground knows your soles
You long for the spaces in your fingers to be filled with the strength of another.
Your emotion shows you in your mind the strong hand of another filling up those spaces but somehow it crumbles like the the tiniest ray of happiness that flits by on those days you chose to not belong.
You belong to this emotion,
That carved the perfect facade for you
Friends envy you
But you hate yourself really
You’re always in a crowd but you’re the loneliest.
Your heart is drowning in all the empty space surrounding it
You live everyday but death’s no stranger
You belong to this emotion
And one…

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Special Me.

Warms the heart…


I knew the day he left.
Not that he packed his bags and went away.
No. Not that
The day he left, the day he stopped loving me
He’s still with me because he’s used to no other
But the day he left,
The soft pitpats of his loafers
Left a trail of footprints in my heart
That day he became “busy”
And I stopped being a superhuman
I became ordinary like a footstool or a pen
I wasn’t magic no more, I was a nameless face in the crowd
The day he left, my jokes became not funny
My cares a burden,
Lovemaking a task
The flame reduced to a tiny glow of dying ashes.
Oh, he knows something has changed but he doesn’t know what.
He thinks he loves me but I know, not anymore
I also knew the day he started to grow feelings for another.

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“What do you want to be when you’re older son?”

“I want to be a–…”


“Daddy! Daddy! Look at me!”

“That’s nice son. Someday you’ll have one just like this.”

“I can hear your heartbeat!”

“I doubt that. See, this part? This goes a little more to the left. Can you hear it now?”



“Dad! Dad I got in! Come take a look!”

“That’s wonderful! Oh, that’s great news!”

“Lectures start in a month Dad.”

“Alright. But right now we celebrate.”


“Dad! Come on! I think I should get a new one. Hers isn’t even white anymore.”

“But you’ve always wanted it. Ever since you were little.”

“Exactly. I was little then.”

“Fine. We’d go get you a new one.”

“Thanks Dad! You’re the best!”



“Hey, it’s three in the morning. Is everything alright?”

“Dad? I don’t think I can do this. It’s just too much. It’s too hard. I don’t think I–”

“Son, listen to me. You are not a quitter alright? Now you remember why you’re in there in the first place. Let that keep you moving.”

“But Dad, I’m not smart enough!”

“No buts son. You can do it. Is that clear?”

“Yes. Yes Dad.”


“Dad? What’re you doing here?”

“Can’t an old man wish his son goodluck?”

“I guess. But you could have called.”

“Never mind that. Are you about going in?”

“Yes Dad.”

“This is it? The final one?”

“Yes Dad. It’s this then the wait.”

“Good luck son.”

“Thanks Dad. I’ll come home this weekend. I’ll see you then.”

“Alright son.”


“Dad! Dad! I made it! Can you believe that?!”

“What’s not to believe? You’re my son after all.”

“Don’t get cocky old man, you know what I mean.”

“We made it this far son.”

“Yeah! To think I–gotta go Dad! They’re calling all inductees!”

“Alright! Slow down! I’ll see you after the ceremony!”

“Yeah sure Dad!”

“Hold on son.”

“What is it?”

“Straighten your tie”

“Alright old man. Anything else?”

“Here! Take this. It’s what your mother would have wanted.”

“Is this her–”

“Yes it is.”

“After all these years?”

“Couldn’t bring myself to let it go.”

“Thanks Dad.”

“I just hope you know where to place it for a heartbeat this time.”

“Please, you think they’d induct me if I didn’t?”

“Run along now, I’ll see you when it’s over.”

“Sure Dad!”


“Dad?! Dad?! Dad?!”

Call it

“No! Dad?! Dad answer me!”

Call it

“No! Not yet. Please. Dad? Dad just please answer me.”

Call it


Doctor where’re you going? Doctor? Doctor…


“Dad! Look at it! MB;BS!”

“Looks fancier than your mother’s”

“I seriously doubt that.”

“Hey son?”


“I am very proud of you.”

“I know. You won’t be out of the house, dressed all nice if you weren’t.”

“I mean it son. Your mother would be proud of you as well.”

“Thanks Dad.”

“My son the doctor. I like how it sounds.”

“Me too Dad. Me too.”



“I gotta get this off! I gotta…I gotta get this off! I..I…is no one else seeing this?! I gotta get this off quick! I just gotta…”
“Quiet Lenny!”

His voice floats through the stale air, he tries desperately to convey a cool sense of calm as he struggles against the urge to drift off.

“Just be quiet Lenny”

“I just gotta get this off! It’s there I can see it! It’s just right…it’s just right here dammit! I gotta get this off! I gotta!”

A silent whimper escapes her lips as she stifles a sob. Her body shakes violently; unsure if it’s her grief or the pretreatment taking effect she just stares at the metal floor beneath her numb paws, too scared to look straight ahead. Too scared to look at Lenny.

“I gotta get this off now! I gotta! It’s coming off! I feel it! It’s moving! I almost got it!”

“Jesus Christ Lenny! Just look at you! Look at yourself mahn! You’re a mess!” His eyes glisten with tears as he turns his head away, now he’d give anything to succumb to the effect of the drug and just drift off.

Her whimper again fills the stale air then a choking sound. She has looked up. She has looked up and finally she sees just what it is Lenny is trying to get off; his own tail. He’s got his head buried deep between his own legs, the whites of his eyes are long gone, replaced with red; the drug at work. His tiny mouth is open, his incisors are bared and dedicatedly he’s gnawing, ferociously biting and clawing at his own tail. She sees it now, his tail barely hanging on. Attached by little more than a string of his own fur to his body.


She whispers his name as though hoping her voice would break through the barriers in his ears and pierce his very soul. She whispers hoping to touch his heart. She whispers, pleading him to stop but all she manages is a very low almost breathless, “Lenny…”

“Almost got it! I just gotta get this off! I tell you I gotta get this off!”


Her forcefulness surprises her as she grabs hold of his head and pulls it up to her face.

“Stop it! Please.”

For the first time she’s looking him in the eyes but, it’s not Lenny looking back. The eyes are feral, they’re not Lenny’s. She slowly lets go of his head and backs into a corner as he returns to his gnawing.

“Almost gone Sara! I gotta get it! I…I gotta! Almost done now!”

Then a moment of silence passes between them as he sharply raises his head, a look of excitement plastered on his face. There’s something in his right paw. She looks closer and notices it’s his tail just as he passes out in a pool of his own blood. She just stands there rooted to the spot as if in a daze.

The sound of Franco drifting off is all she hears now.

“Atleast he’s shut up now”

Is all he says before he drifts. And she’s left wondering why she’d been the control in the first place.


Angry and Just by Delta


Don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t remind me of an institution that attempts to treat its patients with doctors that are dying. Allow me to forget security guards that flee from their source of respect. It’s not worth my headache to remember those who slept in their rooms expecting to dream of justice. Anger usually drives me to strange and uncomfortable places, so let us discuss the things that are worth spit.
People don’t think, and it saddens me. Live in the hostel for two days and maybe some of us can understand ourselves. Nobody is supposed to live like this. Nobody should be subjected to living like this. Don’t deceive yourself to the point that you actually feel lucky going to sleep with bedbugs and their families. Remember instead that you have now been reduced to carrying your extension box before your school books on the way to…

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Hell needs no gates by Villein


You heard the stories. The medical students in College of Medicine are the tamest ever. They have no rights, better still, their rights may be said to lie within the guts of the wolves. The very ones ironically supposed to organize and protect them. The same hypocritical ones who teach them right yet tell them to make a wrong left turn. So, Yes I agree. Medilag students are savoured sheep waiting to be devoured by the regular dosage of mishaps making rounds in the college. It is no news, our toilets are hardly flushed and it’s only human that we man up to the piss and shit the management make us thank them for.
Here is the story- CMUL is hell, accommodation is poor, infrastructure is nonexistent. Traditionally, there is barely power beyond what is enough to keep the phones operational and the story changes to a precarious one during…

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More than our Matric Number!!! By Untitled


More than Our Matric Number!!!

A dark day it is when the healer has to fear for his own life. A very dark day indeed. Even in war, allowance was made for the safe passage of medical teams for both sides. In situations of crisis, the life of medical personnel is still spared above all else. However, on medical soil within medical gates, in the light of medical buildings filled with medical teams slaving away to preserve the precious gifts of life it would seem the life of the medical personnel is least valued here. After series of isolated attacks turned to brazen operations it would seem the medical students have realized for all the hours spent poring over medical books, cramming for examinations, their safety was not as important to the authorities as their presence in the examination hall. At 3am this morning men of ill intent gained access…

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This Poem.

I honestly don’t know what to say…


So, I’m a year older today and my gratitude knows no boundaries.
I’ve always wanted to write a “this” poetry and I did.
Here’s me wishing me a happy birthday and other beautiful things.
“Your comments are what we live for”.
********* ****** ***********

You seek sappy endings?
Sorry, but this poem hoards no happiness
This poem is the new blues
This poem is the unlove you felt when your parents refused to buy something you were enamored with
This poem is broken hearts and shattered dreams
This poem is the stammerer’s two words that he never got to piece together in time
This poem is the darkness you feared so much but has now become a second skin
This poem is all the bad habits you swore you’ll never do but somehow are your forte now
This poem is the tightness in your throat while you helplessly watched on…

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Pants Down

Another display of story telling talent

The Art Jockey

“Wednesday is the new Friday!”. I have no idea what that means. Just heard it on radio. Since today is plain ol’ wednesday, heres my “Mid-week muffin” from me to you. And well, my first actual post. Enjoy!!!

There was no stopping me. I had to eat beans cake. I’m just polishing it up. I had to eat akara. Apparently, many passersby had the same feeling, as the akara queue that particular morning was mammoth. The sun was not smiling. I looked accross the street and saw how the sun shone on a bald man’s head, i giggled and re-aligned myself on the queue. Horns blaring, thugs shouting bus destinations, pick pockets searching for unsuspecting pedestrians. I held my bag a little tighter.

Lagos and its * wahala. I won’t have passed this Ojuelegba route if not for Mama John’s akara. A new batch was on fire, just five more…

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