Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela to headline Nigeria’s Kaduna Book & Arts Festival 2017

Leila Aboulela will be the headline guest at the inaugural Kaduna Book & Arts Festival to be held from July 5-8, 2017. The festival is run in collaboration with the Book Buzz foundation.

As part of its centenary celebrations, Nigerian state of Kaduna is introducing a literary event to its cultural calendar. The Kaduna Book & Arts Festival 2017 (KABAFEST) will feature over 50 writers, artists, actors, poets and performers who will share their work with guests.

The headline act Sudanese author Leila Aboulela’s debut novel The Translator landed her a space on the Scottish First Book of the Year in 2000. She however burst onto the African literary conscious when she was crowned the inaugural winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing at a ceremony at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in Harare in 2000. Since then she has written a number of titles including a collection of short stories Coloured Lights in 2001, and the novels Minaret (2005), and Lyrics Alley (2011). Her most recent novel The Kindness of Enemies came out in 2015 to critical acclaim. With her being the first Caine Prize winner and the prize’s subsequent success, we can only hope that the Kaba Fest will see similar success in the future.

Alongside the headline act on booklogues and stimulating panel discussions on a wide range of important issues, discussions panels will be guests familiar to followers of the African literature scene. The guest list includes Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Dami Ajayi, Titilope Sonuga, Chika Jones, Efe Paul Azino, Kadaria Ahmed, Kinna Likimani, Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Saddiq Dzukogi, Pearl Osibu, Richard Ali, Toni Kan, and Wana Udobang.

Apart from the discussions, there will be an art exhibition with renowned artist Jerry Buhari, Kaltume B Gana, Mariam Oyawoye and Nura Garba. Then there will be a special evening with 12 poets from all over Nigeria making magic. There shall also be screenings of two films: Ishaya Bako’s Henna and Kenneth Gyang’s Blood and Henna. Food-lovers will be able to enjoy our tasting events which will feature flavours from Syria and an opportunity to enjoy the array of Northern Nigerian desserts.

Book lovers will be able to get thousands of books by Nigerian and international authors at the Kabafest bookstore.

This new exciting festival is organised by the Book Buzz Foundation which you will know as the people behind the much loved Ake Festival. The creative director of the new Kaba Festival Lola Shoneyin says of the festival, “We aim 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.”

If you are in Kaduna State next month then I suggest you make your way to the Gusau Institute to see history being made.


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