over 1,500 participants attend…

The inaugural edition of the Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF) held on Saturday, 27th April 2019 at the British Council, Ikoyi, Lagos. An initiative of the publisher of Clever Clogs Books, Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi; 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.

Akada Children’s Book

Akada Children’s Book

The festival 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 was officially declared open by the special guest of the day – Lady Maiden Alex Ibru -Publisher of The Guardian Nigeria, after a short speech of introduction by the Convener of the ACBF, Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi.

With loads of exhibitions and activities going on at the venue, the workshops for children 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.Dr. Seun Akinbohun also took the session “Good with Money,” Founder of LagosMums – Yetty Williams and Programs 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. “ On hand were also multiple vendors including Laterna books, Patabah, Clever Clogs, Ajala books and many others.

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, there were a series of book reading sessions including one by the special guest of the day Lady Maiden Alex-Ibruand another by the Chairman of Punch Mrs Angela Emuwa among many others.

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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 Tosin Ajibade -Founder of OloriSupergal; 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.”
Former Big Brother Naija housemate and media personality, Alex “Unusual” Asogwa spoke at the children’s workshop on the topic “Stop That Bully.”While the different workshops were ongoing, we also had numerous “Fitter, Stronger, Faster” sessions with Fitness Coaches, Maje Ayida and Coach Ojoi consecutively.

There was also a keenly contested writing competition which had begun before the festival day with participants having to write on the topic “Hidden Treasures.” It was a close contest with 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 Ogunlaryand Iremide Olubona – all with 70 marks also.

With so many creative sessions facilitated by Dr NgoziOnyia, BimEghedo, Lara Cookey, BowaleAgboade, Maureen Alasa, Adesola Alli, IkemIsikwena and EmemNwogwugu among others; the Akada Children’s festival had something for everyone giving it a very comprehensive reach and a really qualitative offering for all who were at the program. The Akada Children’s Book Festival had over a thousand people in attendance with different arrival times and several activities happening at different locations.

According to reports, the festival attracted over 1500 participants, with most workshops running 2-3 times with different participants. The official hashtag trended all day during the event, recording a potential impression of over 70Million and reached over 5million people via social media. The ACBF which ran from 8am till 5pmwas held in partnership with the British Council, sponsored by Providus Bank and supported by Cool FM, WFM, Punch Nigeria, Wow Connect, LagosMums, Paelon Memorial, The Event Nanny and BellaNaija.

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