African Literary Festivals


The Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (Kabafest) is a four-day programme of Arts and book-focused events which will include ‘booklogues’, workshops, performances, an art exhibition, a film screening and panel discussions with Nigerian and international writers and thinkers.

What to Expect?

The third edition from 11-14 September, 2019, features up to 70 guests comprising writers, poets, actors, musicians, artists and filmmakers. With booklogues and stimulating panel discussions on a wide range of important issues, discussions will be fun, thought-provoking and enriching.

Food-lovers will be able to enjoy our food tasting events which will feature flavours from outside Nigeria and an opportunity to enjoy an array of Northern Nigerian desserts.

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The Kaduna Book and Arts Festival will take place at the beautiful premises of the Silversand Hotel which is located at Nos 19, Katuru Road, Off Isa Kaita/Rabah Road, Unguwar Sarki, Kaduna – Nigeria.


Registration for Kaduna Book and Arts Festival costs N1000. Every registered individual will receive:

  • a Kabafest Bag
  • a Kabafest Guide
  • a Kabafest ID card and Lanyard

Register here Gem.

Helpful Tips!

Images source:

Visit official website for more info.


Kaduna Book and Arts Festival 2019: Part 1-Introduction

Welcome to September Gem!

🥁 *drumroll* 🥁

Let the countdown to the 3rd Edition of Kaduna Book and Arts Festival holding from 11th-14th September 2019 begin. You are cordially invited to enjoy a festival of arts, books, music, conversations at Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation, Kaduna.

Watch the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufia, highlight reasons why you should attend Kaduna Book and Arts Festival 2019 here.

Follow #kabafest19 on Instagram and Twitter to know more!

I am a collaborating Literary Blogger promoting #kabafest19. I’m thrilled to be part of the festival’s hype squad.

Meet Kabafest19 Guests here!

Later in the week, I’ll be sharing tips to help you attend a literary festival.

If you’d love to live through me at Kabafest19, follow me on Instagram and Twitter!

Don’t forget to save the dates!

ALitFest 2019

I attended ALitFest 2019 hosted by the Abuja Literary Society from 11th-13th of July 2019 at Exhibition Pavilion, Area 10, Garki.

The festival had creative guests, writers, bookstores, literary enthusiasts, vendors enjoy Panel discussions, Book Reading, Wedlock of the Gods stage adaptation, Arts auction, Poetry slam and Music performance.

My friends, Amaka, Logan, Tolu were guests of the festival. I was esctactic hugging and laughing with them and also watching them on panels.

“The 21st Century Nigerian man is learning everyday how to be human.”-Tolu Daniel

Panelist, The 21st Century Nigerian man #ALitFest19

Poetry Slam

I attended a little part of the interesting Poetry Slam, the evening of 12th July. From social commentary poems to a scintillating erotic poem about Banga soup to poems about betrayal to love poems. Two volunteers from Lipfest18 were in the poetry slam with lyrical poems. I shared videos in my I.G story highlights.

Panel Discussions

Saturday 13th, I attended 4 panel discussions, 2 in full and 2 in part. I unlearned, released and learnt.

“We have a wrong perception of a sexual perpetrator, it isn’t a man but a human. A victim is human.” -Dorothy

Panelist, #NigeriaToo- Sexual Harrassment in Nigeria’s public & private spaces

The 21st Century Nigerian man is a man who is constantly at war with himself and at war with the society. Self actualization is important for this man but in the context of family -Michael

Writer and Comment made from audience.

Art Auction

I also networked, walked through the Art Auction and discussed with two artists.

Bookstores and Book shopping

Logan February was kind to autograph my copy of his full length poetry collection.

Books at the RovingHeights Bookstore stand.

The Booksellers Limited stand

I shopped these two books for my dear reader and divalicious friend who values my recommendations. She wanted more African Queer Fiction after reading Stab Love with Flower Stalks. I got autographed copies of ‘In The Nude’ by Logan February and ‘Lákíríboto Chronicles’ by Ayodele Olofintuade. I worked within her budget also!

New Friends!

It was a delight getting introduced to Ope Adedeji, creative non-fiction writer and TJ Benson, writer and author. I met Fatima and her sister. Also Onyinye who were great conversationalists and fellow literary enthusiasts.

If you can attend any literary festival, please do!

Poets and Writers I Discovered at #LIPFest18


True Gems! L-R: Logan February and Ella Chikezie. Image source- Ella Chikezie.

One of the beautiful things of literary festivals is meeting your favorite writers.
Another beautiful thing is discovering your next favorite writer. Or better, falling in love with their works.

  • Ella Chikezie is an Administrator at Creative Africa and on the Lagos Poetry Festival Team. She publishes creative articles, short poetry and stories on instagram and her blog. She was the head of Catering and Guest Welfare Team for Lagos International Poetry Festival. It was delightful working with her during #LIPFest18.  I love her poems and stories. ‘Someday may you look back and smile because/you found purpose in your pain, and may you/look forward with courage because you learnt to /dance in the rain.’ Her engaging pieces have continuity, vibrant consciousness and were quirky. Ella, I’m eagerly waiting for your chapbook.
  • Dr Obari Gomba and I had a lengthy, humorous and insightful conversation during our ride from the airport. We discussed ignorance and discrimination, export of African creative writers, the large pool of unknown Nigerian writers, movie adaptation of books, role of social media and blogs in promoting Nigerian literature through reviews and online self-publishing. Yes, that much! He gifted me an autographed copy of his Guerrilla Post, an engaging play.
  • Logan February and I struck up a conversation after the Opening Ceremony. I was fascinated with his leg work ie. how he crossed his legs. I gave up on sitting crossed leg as a teenage tomboy. Why would I squish my thick thighs? We struck up a friendship after some honest conversations with Amaka and Chioma during Wide Awake Concert. Logan is the author of two poetry chapbooks, How to Cook A Ghost and Painted Blue with Salt Water, book reviewer amongst other things. Poetry chapbooks are like small packs of spicy, sweet, small chops. ‘Dissolve two fallen stars in a cup of chamomile/and it tastes a lot like sweet deception’-A Night of No New Things. I find Logan’s poems fascinating and rhythmic with vivid imagery.
  • Tolu Daniel is a writer and photographer. When I met him he asked ‘where did you lose your voice?’ and that made me laugh. That Saturday my voice was in cracked whispers because I’d been speaking with sore throat the past three days. I thought he was T.J Benson but he forgave my mistake and we had a lovely chat. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines like Expound, Saraba Magazine, Afridiaspora, Brittlepaper and a few other places. He lives in Abeokuta. I love how he describes, the tone of The Unkindness of Ravens and its inclusive second person perspective. ‘A darkness amplified by long-grass music. Coupled with the acapella of  crickets and frogs and Chinese generators  in every house along the street. The darkness covers the horizon, skirting through the edges of the street, hovering over each house, one after the other like a big, black blanket.’
  • Obii Ifejika is that poet I met on the stage of the 1st Edition of LIPFEST. She performed a captivating poem with a grieving persona. The persona was the mother of a kidnapped Chibok Girls. Back in 2015 I’d cried, shivering in the velvet seats of chilly Muson Centre. During the Wide Awake Concert, her poems made the attendees remember the unforgotten Chibok Girls and anguish. Her second poem was a moving love poem about reminding a lover about your love. I spoke with her the next day and she said that poem reflects on how everyone has a part in the end of a relationship. ‘Loneliness greets you with its morning breath,/Limbers your arms,/And feathers kisses over your face’– The Waking Hour. Check out her blog for more poetry.


Other Poets I thoroughly enjoyed their stellar performances include:

Jabir Malick ia a Senegalese performance poet, musician and teacher. We had an interesting conversation on feminism and people’s need to accept other people’s cultural differences. I loved his performance of Original I Copied during the Wide Awake Concert.

Julian Huen, a unique German poet who gave me heart palpitations. He kept wandering Freedom Park grounds minutes before his performance. It was worth seeing him prep for his rhythmic performance. The poem encouraged the listener not to listen to toxic self doubt.

There is the magical Lebo Mashile, South African performer, activist and the LIPFEST18 resident poet. I watched her performances and marveled at how she used words to tell untold feminine narratives.

Nick Makoha, Ugandan poet from the UK. He hosted a workshop that really helped me improve the tone, rhythm and description of my short stories. I watched him perform King of Myth,The Dark and a third poem. His mastery of metaphor, rhythm and imagery are laudable.