Africa Writes 2018 - An African Literature Festival
to 1 Jul

Africa Writes 2018 - An African Literature Festival

Enjoy talks, storytelling events, a lively atmosphere and an international book fair with classics, recent publications and rare finds.

Ivan Gonzalez

Ivan Gonzalez

Africa Writes, the UK’s biggest annual African literature and book festival brought to you by the Royal African Society, returns to The British Library and Rich Mix from Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July 2018. Bringing together over 60 of the most influential voices in contemporary writing from Africa and its diaspora, this exciting literary weekend features writers from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Somaliland, Uganda, South Africa, UK, USA and Zimbabwe, and highlights womxn and queer writers who are changing the face of African literature.

Celebrated Somali-British poet Warsan Shire appears on Sunday 1 July, the first writer under 30 to headline the event in the festival’s seven-year history. In her first UK public appearance since her poetry reached millions of people in Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade, Shire will be in conversation about her work, process and inspiration, and will speak about her new projects that explore the intersections of art and healing. 

Warsan Shire in Conversation

Sunday 1 July, 17:30 – 18:45, The British Library

Ticket Price: £15 - £10


African Poetry Prize in 2013 and appointed as the first Young Poet Laureate for London. Fellow young poets Yomi Ṣode and Octavia Poetry Collective will appear in the festival headline events. Following sold out shows at the Roundhouse and Battersea Arts Centre, British Nigerian Yomi Ṣode opens the festival at the British Library with his one-man show, COAT, exploring themes of identity, migration and displacement while cooking up a stew live on stage (29 June).

Yomi Ṣode’s COAT

Friday 29 June, 20:00 – 21:00 (doors open at 19:30), The British Library

Ticket Price: £12 - £8


The womxn of colour poetry group Octavia hosts the Africa Writes 2018 Party (30 June, Rich Mix). Taking their name from the American science fiction writer Octavia Butler and inspiration from the $1 billion grossing Marvel film Black Panther, Octavia presents a Wakanda-themed event featuring art displays, galdem DJs and a line-up of poets including Sarah Lasoye, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Hibaq Osman, Rachel Long, Belinda Zhawi, Amina Jama, 2018 African Poetry Prize winners Theresa Lola and Momtaza Mehri (the 2018 Young Laureate for London). Celebrated author and long-time advocate for writers of colour Bernardine Evaristo will deliver a speech on ‘Warrior Womxn Writers’.

Octavia Poetry Collective presents: Africa Writes Party 2018. The Year of the Womxn Part

Saturday 30 June, 20:00 – 00:30, Rich Mix

Ticket Price: £10 - £8


A key aspect of the festival programme each year is inspiration, discovery and new writing. Audiences and readers can get an introduction to Cameroonian literature, read new work by young people in Uganda, hear from the festival authors on their favourite pieces of writing in African Books to Inspire, and meet the 2018 Caine Prize shortlisted writers (30 June - 1 July). Poets and secondary school students will present their creative writing in a free showcase event, alongside the launch of the Africa Writes Young Voices Anthology produced in the festival’s education programme (30 June).

The programme includes workshops to develop skills and encourage participation: a masterclass in literary translation presented by Wangui wa Goro of SIDENSI, a workshop of Afrofuturist literature art, literature and fashion presented by FUNCTION, and a pitching event for budding writers to meet publishing industry experts. Also included are a workshop on small magazines and African literary networks, and a discussion on podcasts – the publishing industry’s single fastest growing format – with Not Another Book Podcast, BakwaCast, 2 Girls & a Pod, and Africa in Words.

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How To Build Your Personal Brand with Ronke Lawal
10:00 am10:00

How To Build Your Personal Brand with Ronke Lawal

  • AFFORD Business Club, Rich Mix Centre (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Founder or Ariatu PR, Ronke Lawal is hosting a seminar to help you build your personal brand on June 28th at the AFFORD Business Club in Shoreditch, London from 10pm to 2pm. 

In this high impact seminar Ronke will be providing strategic insight into how individuals can boost their personal brands. This is ideal for business owners, entrepreneurs or professionals who want to raise their corporate visibility and business credibility. Delegates will learn how to make more of an impact within their sectors both online via social media and offline at networking events or through public speaking opportunities. She will also show delegates how to use PR tactics to raise their personal brands effectively, develop effective relationships and build a community of personal brand ambassadors who will champion them throughout their career or business journeys.

  • The Power of A Personal brand – how having a strong personal brand can make an impact on your overall marketing strategy and open up new opportunities in your business or career journey.
  • Using PR to enhance your profile – Using public relations strategies to enhance your public profile.
  • Identifying your values & Knowing your purpose – Understanding what your brand is and how you can maintain your integrity and authenticity.
  • Social Media strategy – How to use social media platforms to raise your visibility.
  • Public Speaking Tips – Advice and guidance on becoming a more confident public speaker.
  • Measuring Success – Assessing Long term goals and celebrating success.
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brownbeautytalk Hosts a Beauty Masterclass with MDMFlow
6:30 pm18:30

brownbeautytalk Hosts a Beauty Masterclass with MDMFlow


The UK's leading online beauty destination for women of colour, brownbeautytalk are hosting an intimate Makeup Masterclass with Florence Adepoju, the founder of MDMflow. Taking place on June 21st at the Hunter Collective, guests will be introduced to the MDMflow brand, Florence's start-up journey and her future plans.

The evening will be divided into two sessions; a foundation session and a makeover. Guests will be able to collaborate with Florence to create the perfect foundation by swatch-ing sample MDMflow foundations. Florence has been working hard developing a foundation range for all skin tones, so sharing your experience on shopping for foundations and what you would like to see on the market will be immensely useful. 

This will then be followed by a makeover where Florence will demonstrate how to use her fabulous products. 

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Spring Melanin presents 'Layers of Beauty' by Mulan Itoje
12:00 pm12:00

Spring Melanin presents 'Layers of Beauty' by Mulan Itoje


London based international model Mulan Itoje is hosting the second edition of Spring Melanin on June 10th at the Hunter Collective. A bi-monthly event, Spring Melanin is a safe space for dark skin women of colour, curated for nurturing healing conversation, self-love and self-care.

Guests on the day will participate in an industry talk featuring womxn excelling in their careers who will share their experiences, obstacles and more. Within the theme 'Layers of Beauty', they will be discussing colourism, hair texture and more.

All guests will receive free massages, manicures, cupcakes, food, botanical cocktails by Ibile Botanica. The first 50 guests will receive a goody bag for the first 50 and the evening will close with a surprise performance.

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#NubianNude: Find Your Perfect Nude with Nubian Skin
5:30 pm17:30

#NubianNude: Find Your Perfect Nude with Nubian Skin

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We are collaborating with Nubian Skin to bring you an intimate lingerie shopping experience on June 2nd, from 5.30pm to 8pm. Join us for a bespoke colour match and fit service from Nubian Skin over cupcakes by The Indulgent Sugar Plum and champagne at the Nubian Skin new showroom in Central London. Guests will receive 10% off their purchases on the day and will leave with a goody bag. Only a limited number of tickets are available.

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AZOOUIWA Presents Togetherness: Celebrating the creative feminine and masculine
2:00 pm14:00

AZOOUIWA Presents Togetherness: Celebrating the creative feminine and masculine

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Centred around the theme of Togetherness, the event will welcome men to the the celebration of our creativity and overall awesomeness! As can be expected, the day will kick off with meditation and will include a shopping experience from our selected vendors:

Knots (headwraps)
As Black As Love (jewellery, accessories and interiors)
Íbile Botánica (botanical cocktails/mocktails and juices)
Ziindya (customised clothing, jewellery, millinery)
Aso Global (contemporary African-inspired clothing, accessories, and jewellery)

We will also be screening the first part Jazz Poet, Dylema's short documentary series. A panel discussion with leading male creatives in their industries, will explore How Women Influence Their Work and will be hosted by AZO-OUI-WA founder, Laurence SessouThere will also be music from DJ Yss who will play a varied selection of Afro sounds, throughout the day and evening, so come vibe and groove with us!

Guests will be able to snack on canapes, prepared by Cordon-Bleu Chef Patissier, Adisa Vital; indulge in cake for dessert by The Indulgent Sugar Plum and leave with a goody bag of selected goods and offers — ALL COMPLIMENTARY!

West African Cuisine; Vegan Cuisine will be available to buy and enjoy. A full bar service will be available with a choice of prosecco, wine, beer and soft drinks.

Limited early bird tickets are £9; General tickets: £12; Door Tickets: £15 — Children come for free, always!


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Our Naked Truths Presents: The Reclamation of Self featuring Laurence Sessou
12:00 pm12:00

Our Naked Truths Presents: The Reclamation of Self featuring Laurence Sessou

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Our Naked Truths invites all those who identify as women to create, connect and celebrate the universal feminine beauty through art and conversation.

This is a special session where we will create, network, discuss and connect with each other. The day's theme will focus on The Reclamation of Self, modelled by Laurence Moniasse Sessou

Healing purchases can be made on the day from:

  • Art exhibited from freelance illustrator, Catherine Morton-Abuah.
  • Bespoke Crystal Jewellery available for purchase from Suhailya Shakuwra
  • Botanical by Ibile Botanica who brings holistic remedies through artisan herbal teas, smokable herbs and healing essentials to aid the feminine healing and nurturing process.

Expect lots of discussion, freedom, love and above all a celebration of self! Please come with an open heart and mind to create. *Racism, Ableism, Ageism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia or Hatred of any kind will not be tolerated.

For further information contact

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