Governor Nasir El-Rufai has flagged off the annual Kaduna Arts and Book Festival, initiated to encourage literary arts and talents.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, the governor said components of creating arts represented by the Nigerian film industry, musicians and photographers are already breaking new grounds and demonstrating sustained visibility.
“We seek to promote the creative arts to not only to nurture minds but also create jobs and wealth for our people. Apart from books, creative arts program seek to promote music, films and the arts in general, and with this third edition, our aspiration to institutionalize KABAFEST is being attained,” he said at the opening on Wednesday in Kaduna.
He appreciated the two editions of the festival, which he said had provided a “mix of global and local while exploring stories and ideas in conversation and from other cultures.”
“Kaduna State embraces its diversity as a blessing and it has used literature as one of the most important channels that can be used to explain ourselves, first to each other and then to the World; building ourselves a common community and challenging us to build a better society”.
El-Rufai expressed optimism that the event will deliver an inspiring experience to all participants. El-Rufai noted that creative arts not only nurture minds but also create wealth and employment.
Earlier, Lola Shoneyin, the Director Book Buzz Foundation, organizers of the festival, appreciated the government for its support. She disclosed that the four-day festival drew accomplished writers and artists from the UK, US, Ghana, Kenya, Jamaican, Canada, and South Africa.
“As organizers, we will show the World the multiplicity of the Northern Nigerian region. Nigerians are too quick to strip people of their capabilities, they are not doing enough to honour creativity or how their work has touched and changed people”.
Shoneyin, therefore, said the event would showcase what creative artists are meant to do and provide a constant reminder to common humanity.
At the event, Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Prof. Ahmed Yerima, an academician and author with about 60 titles. The 2019 Andrew Nok Poetry and Creative Writing Award were presented to five recipients, including Safiya Ismail Yero for the Prose category.