Earlier this month, we made our way to Kaduna, northern Nigeria, for the second edition of Kaduna Books and Arts Festival (also referred to as Kabafest). After a long journey from London to Abuja to Kaduna, we immediately whisked ourselves into action to deliver the first of our two literary and creative writing workshops at the festival at Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation. Prior to this though, Zaahida introduced Afrikult. during the festival’s opening ceremony while Marcelle was still on the road from Abuja.
The first workshop we delivered called Creative Writing: Building A Story focused on activities where our participants worked on the fundamental basics in building a framework while using African literature and photography as a stimulus to creating their own work. The second workshop delivered called Writing and Rioting: Women’s Use of the Pen looked at radical African women’s writing in African languages (Hausa and Xhosa), Arabic and English. The full day workshop (on the second day) allowed more time for building on the pieces crafted at the first workshop. Some of our participants completed one full draft, while a few completed two!
We concluded the workshop true Afrikult. style and ran a raffle for three winners to win an Afrikult. tote bag with one winner grabbing the tote bag and Inua Ellams’ collection Afterhours.
Our participants had some really lovely things to say about the workshops too:
“It was an imaginary and absolute session were creative minds buzzle”
“An avenue for me to enhance my writing skills and express myself”
“It challenged my thinking when it comes to reading literature and it exposed me to writers I’ve never heard of.”
“I discovered that I could write stories about anything”
The next day we presented certificates alongside with festival organiser and director Lola Shoneyin.
We got to enjoy the rest of the festival listening to some insightful, evocative and at times intense panel discussions which gave more credence to the rich value and necessity for this festival’s existence and place in northern Nigeria. We also got to hang out with some of our faves!
We’re so grateful to Lola Shoneyin, the entire Kabafest team (big shout out to Nanzing, Alexandra and Afolabi), our workshop participants and especially to Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation who generously hosted our workshops and kept us in good company (shout out Nabila). Thank you Kabafest, until next year!
With literary love + light, Marcelle and Zaahida