Arts  |  Artfolk  

KABAFEST 2017… Taking book festival train to Kaduna

By Florence Utor   |   02 July 2017   |   3:09 am  

Festival organiser, Lola Shoneyin


The inaugural edition of Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST 2017) will hold from July 5 through 8, 2017, at Gusau Institute, Kaduna State. In line with Kaduna State Government’s restoration programme and commitment to the promotion of literacy, the state is partnering with Book Buzz Foundation and Gusau Institute to organise a world-class event that would bring book and art evangelism to the northern part of the country. Mallam Nasir El Rufai’s Kaduna State is effectively taking off from where Niger State stopped in book fiesta organisation during the administration of Dr. Aliyu Babangida as governor.

In a statement signed by Head, Media and Communications, Book Buzz Foundation, Byenyan Jessica Bitrus, the fiesta will feature five booklogues or conversations, with nine authors, nine panel discussions, two film screenings, an art exhibition with four Northern Nigerian artists, food- tasting, and a magical poetry performance.

“School children are not left out of the programme of events,” she said. “They will take part in the poetry declamation contest for secondary schools. Students attending tertiary institutions in Kaduna State, who register before July 5, can attend for free. They can also apply online for a N10,000 book grant. For the duration of the festival, there will be a fantastic bookstore on-site, which will offer a wide range of books at a special festival discount rate. Registration to attend KABAFEST costs N500.”


Organisers have also stated that the aim of KABAFEST 2017 is “to create new and exciting opportunities for social and cultural interaction, the celebration and promotion of creatives in the Northern region of Nigeria and foster tolerance and understanding through dialogue about books, culture, the arts and society.”
KABAFEST event line-up include the following: Booklogues, which “promise to be riveting with authors such as Toni Kan, Edify Yakusak, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Odafe Atogun, Maryam Bobi, Richard Ali and Leila Aboulela, who will take us on an intimate journey through their personal literary landscapes.

“Our stimulating panel discussions will focus on a range of exciting topics. Important writers such as Bishop Matthew Kukah, Ibrahim Bello Kano and Usman Bugaje will guide us in a conversation on ‘Religious Tolerance;’ HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Aisha Umar and Saudatu Mahdi will be talking to Kadaria Ahmed about ‘Harnessing the Potential of Women in Northern Nigeria,’ while Nur’din Busari, Jamila Umar Tanko, Abdullah Dona, Zakari Mohammed will talk us through ‘Challenges of Publishing in Northern Nigeria.’

“Also, Hafsah Abubakar will have a chat with Rahama Sadau on the ‘Art and Activism,’ while Anwalu Anwar, Hafsat M A Abdulwahid and Balaraba Ramat Yakubu will discuss ‘Modern Hausa Literature’ with world-famous Sudanese writer, Leila Aboulela, who will be joined by established and rising cultural stars such as Zainab Alkali, Jerry Buhari, Kaltume B. Gana, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Aisha Umar, Toni Kan, Titilope Sonuga, Edify Yakusak, Efe Paul Azino, Aminu Alan Waka, Hafsat Ahmad Abdulwaheed, Andrew Walker, Carmen McCain, Ibrahim Bello-Kano at is a unique event that will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Northern Nigeria, harness the passion of local creatives and bring together some of the finest contemporary writers, artists, filmmakers, poets and thinkers to Kaduna.”

According to the Creative Director of KABAFEST 2017, Lola Shoneyin, Carmen McCain, Zaynab Alkali and Leila Aboulela will talk about the ‘Contributions of Muslim Women Writers in Today’s World.’

Also on the festival menu is the filmic art, with an award winning Nigerian film, Blood and Henna by Ali Nuhu. Art exhibition, with renowned artist, Jerry Buhari showcasing his work alongside Kaltume B. Gana, Mariam Oyawoye and Nura Garba in an exhibition called ‘Visions of 4!’

The culinary art of the north is not left out, as Food Events spices up KABAFEST 2017, as it provides a rare opportunity to sample delicious desserts from Northern Nigeria and a wide variety of delectable Syrian cuisine.


Student Engagement section is also important to organisers, who will coordinate students from 20 secondary schools to participate in a Poetry Declamation contest. They can impress the judges using their voices only or accompanied by percussion, music or costumes to win fantastic prizes. Book Grants for Undergraduates, with 150 students from tertiary institutions in Kaduna State being awarded a N10,000 book grant to spend on books from the KABAFEST bookstore, completes the amazing package for students’ participation.
The book grants will be offered on a first come, first serve basis to students who apply on www.kabafest.org.

Further, Leila Aboulela will host a special two-day ‘Fiction Writing Workshop for Women’ to encourage women writers and give them a chance to hone their skills.Poetry performances from some of the best spoken word artists will spice up KABAFEST 2017. To mount the stage are poets like Titilope Sonuga, Efe Paul Azino, Wana Udobang, Sadiq Dzukogi, Dami Ajayi, Aminu Alan Waka, Jeremiah Methuselah, Chika Jones and many more.

The festival is open to the general public, but a registration fee of N500 per person will be charged. For more information or to register, visit www.kabafest.org. Registration can also be done in person at the event.Follow KABAFEST on social media platforms for updates on: Twitter: @kabafest, Instagram: @kabafest, facebook: Kaduna Book & Arts Festival.



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