New York University Accra holds 10th edition of Labone Dialogues


Leye Adenle – award-winning novelist headlines ‘Reclaiming Noir’ Masterclass & Artist talks at NYU Accra Gardens

On February 16, 2023, the tenth edition of New York University (NYU) Accra’s signature public programme ‘Labone Dialogues’ will kick-off – with VIPs and special guests gracing the purple carpet before a public lecture on retaking control of our African stories through crime-fiction.

Adenle, the author of thrillers ‘Easy Motion Tourist’, ‘When Trouble Sleeps’, ‘Unfinished Business’ and others will land in Accra from his London base, spending his time in Ghana teaching, learning and promoting NYU Accra’s literacy efforts for Ghanaians.

In early 20202 the ‘Labone Dialogues by NYU Accra’ was conceived – and it is curated by Prof. Chiké Frankie Edozien, the Global Site Director for the New York University campus in Labone. Since then, iconic artists like the great Ama Ata Aidoo; the novelist Ayesha Haruna Attah; the musician Wanlov the Kubolor; the playwright Latif Abubakar; the activist and former Member of Parliament, Samia Nkrumah; have all graced the NYU Accra stage.  In December, Abubakar’s forthcoming ‘The Second Coming of Nkrumah’ was previewed.

“Our first event was a tribute to the local production of knowledge and a celebration of late, great pioneering musician Kofi Ghanaba. I arrived in Ghana from New York and recognised that we had a unique opportunity as a global university to share our knowledge and have incredible classes and conversations for our neighbours and hosts, rather than keep them within our halls of academia,” Edozien said. “This is why we made the decision to share the Ghanaba archives in NYU’s possession with local scholars and the University of Ghana.”

Since that first event, heavy hitters and multiple award winners on the African literary scene have flocked to NYU Accra for a chance to connect with Ghanaian audiences: including Ethiopia’s Maaza Mengiste (The Shadow King); Nigeria’s Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Seasons of Crimson Blossoms); South Africa’s Zukiswa Wanner (London CapeTown Jo’burg); and Uganda’s Jennifer Makubi (Kintu).

“We expect Adenle to follow in the tradition and take the tough questions, but show us how he changes the narrative and continually highlights the role of African women forcing change in big cities,” Edozien added.

Adenle will be in conversation with literary blogger Kinna Likimani. “Before doing anything worthwhile and that I’m going to be pouring my whole self into, I am anxious and excited – but mostly anxious about doing a Masterclass,” Adenle said from his home in London. Edozien also emphasised that NYU is a private university that has always been into public service, hence Masterclass guests not only do public events but also private givebacks.

Adenle will also be working with NYU partner, the Writers Project of Ghana, in an intimate craft workshop for local writers after his artist talk. The programme will be held at the NYU Accra Gardens, No 7 Fourth Norla Street, Labone-Accra, with doors opening 4:30 p.m. for this very rare conversation. All Covid protocols will be observed. Limited seating is available for this series that has become a favourite for the cognoscenti among Accra’s cultural denizens and the diplomatic corps.

New York University is a private university in the public service.  NYU Accra was established in 2004 and is one of 14 Global Academic Centres for Study-Away.  Here we provide a pathway for our students in New York to come and study and work in fulfillment of requirements for our degree programmes. ‘Labone Dialogues by NYU Accra’ is a public/community event.


Leye Adenle is a London-based Nigerian author and winner of the first-ever Prix Marianne for his debut novel Easy Motion Tourist (2016) in 2016. The second novel in the Amaka series, When Trouble Sleeps, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the 2019 CrimeFest edunnit award. He has written several short stories under his own name, and over a hundred satirical pieces under various pseudonyms.

Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Chiké Frankie Edozien learned to read from the newspapers before even attending school. He is author of the groundbreaking memoir Lives of Great Men:’ which won the Lambda Literary award 2018 for biography/memoir. His Shea Prince was a Gerald Kraak finalist, and part of its As You Like It anthology also garnered a ‘Lammy’ in 2019.  His Last night in Asaba along with other incredible stories from around Africa have been anthologised in The Heart of The Matter. He also contributed the short story Krife to the Relations anthology (2023). Edozien lives in Ghana where he is the director of New York University, Accra.

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