Zaynab Alkali, other literary giants storm Minna arts festival

Participants at Minna Book and Arts Festival
Participants at Minna Book and Arts Festival

The inaugural edition of the Minna Book and Art Festival (MinnaBAF) held at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna between September 18 and 20.

The literary and cultural event themed, “Northern Nigeria Creative Development: The Valley and the Boundary” is the first of its kind in Minna and the North-central region of Nigeria. It served to create awareness, build capacities and promote all forms of arts.

A press release issued on Monday by Nana Sule, MinnaBAF’s spokeseprson, said Zaynab Alkali, the first female novelist from Northern Nigeria to be published in English, headlined the festival.

The professor’s commitment and dedication to writing and literary activities served as inspiration to guests at the festival especially school children who were excited to interact with her.

In her festival conversation, moderated by Asabe Kabir, a professor at the Usman of Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, Mrs Alkali emphasised the importance of self-development through hard work and dedication to writing.

Panel discussions at the festival were on “New Age Poetry: Issues and Challenges”, “Manifesto of a Political Writer”, “Writing, Culture and Interfaces.” Also discussed were “Fiction: Identity and Representation Across Generations”, and “Trends in African Literature.”

Panelists that included E.E Sule, Wale Okediran, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, BM Dzukogi, Denja Abdullahi, and Balaraba Ramat Yakubu also discussed issues around topics as “The Core in our Culture: Oral Literature and Beyond”, “The Role of Writers in Environmental Advocacy”, “Challenges of Arts Blogactivity” and “Changing Stereotypes through Writing.”

The festival, which was attended by guests from across Nigeria, also celebrated the life and writings of late Abubakar Gimba, one of the greatest Nigerian novelists ever to emerge from Northern Nigeria with a panel discussion that included his daughter.

Discussants on the various sub-themes were drawn from the academia, publishers, political actors, arts managers, established and young writers and artists.

The three-day festival ended with a thrilling cultural night.


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