Peter Uzoho in Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has reiterated his administration’s commitment and support to the development of the art and creative industry, through creating veritable platforms for youth to develop and showcase their creative potentials.
El Rufai stated this yesterday in Kaduna while declaring open the 2018 edition of the Kaduna Book and Art Festival (Kabafest), organised by the Book Buzz Foundation.
The governor who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, Mr. Barnabas Bala Bantex, stressed that the festival was not only meant to celebrate the art and literary world but was also intended to change the perception of the world about Northern Nigeria.
El Rufai also noted that the state government intended to institutionalise Kabafest as a fixture on the cultural calendar and a fitting platform for the existing talents in the north, explaining that the annual programme was an initiative for nurturing, promoting and celebrating creative potentials.
“It is delivering on this government’s commitment to support the arts, creativity and the creatives. As one of the largest states in a diverse country, Kaduna is an epitome of diversity, from cultures and languages to landscape.
“This variety is a blessing, and the interaction of these cultures and languages enriches us all. Literature and other arts make a major contribution to helping us understand each other better, explaining to us where we are, and pointing out where we could go.”
According to him, apart from cultural dialogue, the creative arts could in themselves, be sources of economic dynamism and, the Nigerian Film Industry, the musicians and the photographers are breaking new grounds and demonstrating sustained viability.
He added: “We seek to promote the creative arts, to nurture minds, but also to create jobs and wealth for our people.”
The highlight of the event was the conferment of the Lifetime Achievement Award to a renowned novelist and Professor of Literature at the Nasarawa State University, Zaynab Alkali, for her immense contributions to the Nigerian society through her creative works.
In her acceptance speech, Alkali said the award assured her and her fellow writers that they were on the right part for contributing to the larger society.
She described the art as a potent weapon for social change and a steady ladder for the growth of the human soul, stressing that part of a writer’s obligations was to enhance nobility of the soul by encouraging moral integrity and condemning corruption.
She added: “A writer is expected to create works which depicts social harmony through modeling love and respect to a people steeped in multiple conflicts. When a nation loses its focus, and subsequently a sense of direction, a writer is expected to be at the forefront in the process of refocusing and redirecting the nation’s course.”