Most of our genuinely happy, peaceful, and perfect moments may never be captured for a replay.
One of my favorite movies is The Words. That movie is like a combination of your favorite novel and Parisian images, topped off with the aha moments of a movie. Oh! The story is really layered too in a deliciously complex way.
There is this scene where The Old Man (Jeremy Irons) is telling his story about love and loss in Paris. He describes an afternoon he, his wife, and daughter spent picnicking. He says something to the effect of That was our moment. We did not realize it then, but it was.
For every picture taken or video filmed to remember what we really wanted to treasure, there were tens that were never captured where we were probably happier.
There were several of those moments at the 2016 Ake Arts and Book Festival. Yes, I had a DLSR Camera strapped up at all times with a few other handy gadgets. I could flood a series of posts with the hundreds of pictures that I have from five days in Abeokuta with the vibrant literary audience. Still, they wouldn’t tell the story completely.
Here are 10 of my Ake moments that although not captured would be remembered.
- Commending Alain Mabanckou about his fashion sense at Park Inn by Radisson’s lobby. Alain: You are the stylish one. Me: (looking confused) Thank you! That’s kind of you.
- Eating Amala, Ewedu, and Stew with Goat meat at Surulere Restaurant in the company of Elizabeth and the UI literary gurus. Me: This food is too much oh. Me (after 20 minutes): Scrapes plate, licks fingers, and in a food coma. Lol
- Sitting outside by the dry fountain with Helon Habila as he autographed my copy of The Chibok Girls. Me: I liked your short story, Beautiful. Helon: It was a beautiful story to tell.
- Chatting with a group of students who traveled all the way from Kaduna for the festival. This was a mixed one though as there was a lot of assumed stereotypes in the air to be cleared.
- Laughing so hard at the screening of Marguerite Abouet’s Aya de Yopougon. The form and narration was fresh and brought back several Cote D’Ivoire memories. My favorite line was towards the end. Papa de Papa! Papa de Papa.
- Glancing several times at Lola Shoneyin, Director of the Festival and wondering how she does it. Her energy flows seemingly non-stop and she is so hands-on in her approach.
- Having red wine with lunch at the Francophone table amidst several conversations and introductions. Thank you Pierre for the invitation 🙂
- Arriving at Olumo Rock’s base, half-way point, and the top. I almost cried out of sheer joy. Even when you hike as a group, everyone gets to reflect on the experience at a personal level.
- Talking with Elizabeth for three straight hours about creativity and advertising. Her agency created an ad with a tagline, Shakespeare left a mark, but Hypo (a brand of bleach) will not.
- Asking Ngugi wa Thiong’o what he would spend his last dollar on. Ngugi: The Perfect Story. I would tell you why another time. Me: We shall make it happen 🙂