Akada Children’s Book Festival holds 4th Edition, Begins Registration

The Akada Children’s Book Festival (ACBF), widely regarded as Nigeria’s first and largest book festival, that is exclusively for children, will hold its fourth edition on October 29, 2022, at the Upbeat Recreation Centre in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State.

The children’s book festival will be held physically for the first time since the 2019 event, and the organisers are currently accepting registrations via www.akadafestival.org.

ACBF, which is an initiative of acclaimed publisher and children’s author, Olubunmi Aboderin Talabi, targets children aged 13 and below, parents, teachers and guardians, as well as those who create child-appropriate content. The one-day festival is poised to attract 3,000 attendees with various fun activities.

According to confirmed reports, the initiative showcases children’s books written by African authors or books from around the world written for a diverse audience of children. The gathering was successfully held for the first time in 2019 at the British Council, Lagos State, attracting over 1,400 attendees.

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Also, the second and third editions were held virtually, attracting participants from across the world.

Attendees joined the festival from various states across Nigeria as well as from Madagascar, Estonia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, France, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Qatar, Rwanda, Australia, Belgium, Libya, Norway, and the Philippines Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, and Zambia.

Announcing the 2022 festival with the theme, “Together Again,” Talabi maintained that the 2022 edition will be a one-day, in-person event.

This is as she further stated that there will be professional workshops for children’s book writers, illustrators, and publishers, author-led book readings, book chats, fun mini-workshops for children, music, dance, insightful sessions and soft skills master classes for parents and teachers, among a variety of other things lined up to spice up the annual event.

The ACBF’s founder explained why the theme was chosen, saying, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time we have had the festival in-person in over two years. So, we want the theme to capture the joy of community and celebrate our shared love of reading and empowering children and their families.”

According to her, when children embrace the love of books and enjoy reading at a young age, it affords them the skills necessary for an accomplished life with endless possibilities.

She added that the organisers have taken deliberate steps to ensure that “this year’s festival encourages active participation, storytime, and bonding sessions for families, as well as a boost in children’s cognitive development.”

Additionally, at the event, there will be book chats and signings, a sip and paint session, a Pop-Up Library, Fun Exhibitions, Arts and Crafts, Music and Dance, as well as discounted activities from festival partner, UpBeat Centre.

This year’s festival will, accordingly, not only feature a large number of children’s authors but also workshop facilitators from a wide range of industries, including publishing, public speaking, entertainment, digital media, parenting, and education.

They include Tunde Onakoya, the founder of Chess in Slums Africa; Jayne Augoye, the creator of FabMumNg; Dr Eghosa Imasuen, a well-known author and co-founder of Narrative Landscape Press; Enahoro Okhae, a specialist in emotional intelligence; Neo Akpofure, a reality TV star and lifestyle influencer; and Dr Lanre Olusola, a life coach, amongst several others.

Reporters also noted that since its inception, ACBF has provided a fantastic pool of talent and resources, connecting families and schools with indigenous and international authors, illustrators, and storytellers, which have coalesced around the festival’s mission of inspiring the joy of reading at an early age.

The initiative’s Festival Director, Omawumi Ogbe, similarly maintained that Akada Children’s Book Festival has grown to become a melting point for all things children’s education and family entertainment.

She stated, “Like previous years, the 2022 event has a lineup of insightful sessions featuring some of today’s most sought-after authors and speakers and will especially address some of the most relevant topics in our fast-changing world.”

Meanwhile, Ogbe disclosed that the ACBF would announce new exciting partnerships and initiatives for the general public to participate in.

This is as she added that the general public should, for registration and subsequent updates, visit www.akadafestival.org and also follow @akadafestival on major social media platforms.

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