World-famous Sudanese writer, Leila Aboulela 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 the inaugural edition of the Kaduna Book & Arts Festival (KABAFEST) which will take place on 5-8 July 2017 at the Gusau Institute, Kaduna State.

Top Creative Authors Set To Converge in Kaduna for Book and Arts Festival
Top Creative Authors Set To Converge in Kaduna for Book and Arts Festival

In line with Kaduna State’s restoration programme and its commitment to the promotion of literacy, the State Government has partnered with the Book Buzz Foundation and the Gusau Institute, to organize a world class event which will feature; 5 booklogues with 9 authors, 9 panel discussions, 2 film screenings, an art exhibition with four Northern Nigerian artists, Food-tasting, and a magical poetry performance.

Top Creative Authors Set To Converge in Kaduna for Book and Arts Festival
Entrance for the emir of Zaria palace, zaria, Kaduna

School children are not left out of the programme of events; they will take part in the poetry declamation contest for secondary schools. Students attending tertiary institutions in Kaduna State who register before 5 July 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.

KABAFEST 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 Lola Shoneyin, the Creative Director of the KABAFEST, “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.”

Registration to attend KABAFEST costs N500.



Our Booklogues promise to be riveting with authors such as Toni Kan, Edify Yakusak, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Odafe Atogun, Maryam Bobi, Richard Ali and Leila Aboulela taking us on an intimate journey through their personal literary landscapes.

Panel Discussions

Our stimulating panel discussions will focus on a range of exciting topics. 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. Nur’din Busari, Jamila Umar Tanko, Abdullah Dona, Zakari Mohammed will talk us through the Challenges of Publishing in Northern Nigeria; Hafsah Abubakar will have a cheat 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

Carmen McCain. Zaynab Alkali and Leila Aboulela will talk about the contributions of Muslim Women writers in today’s world.


The Award winning Nigerian film; Blood and Henna directed by Kenneth Gyang, starring Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq and Nafisat Abdullahi, will be screened. The moving story recounts the ordeal of 1996 meningitis victims and the controversial Pfizer Clinical Trial in Kano. The Screening will be followed by an in-depth interview session with the director, Kenneth Gyang conducted by Pearl Osibu. We will also be screening Ishaya Bako’s Short Film, Henna.

Art Exhibition

Renowned artist Jerry Buhari will be showing his work, along with, Kaltume B Gana, Mariam Oyawoye and Nura Garba in an exhibition called ‘Visions of 4!’

Food Events

KABAFEST will also provide a rare opportunity to sample delicious desserts from Northern Nigeria and a wide variety of delectable Syrian cuisine.

Student Engagement

Students from 20 secondary schools will participate in a Poetry Declamation contest. They can impress the judges using their voices only or accompanied by percussion, music or costumes etc to win Fantastic Prizes.

Book Grants for Undergraduates

150 students from tertiary institutions in Kaduna State will be awarded a 10,000 Naira book grant to spend on books from the KABAFEST bookstore. The book grants will be offered on a first come, first serve basis to students who apply on


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.


There will be performances by 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 500 per person will be charged. For more information or to register, visit Registration can also be done in person at the event.