After a successful outing last year, Africa’s most agile company and Nigeria’s most innovative bank, Sterling Bank Plc made another heartwarming return to the Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST) from the 11th – 14th of September 2019 as a sponsor, partner, and exhibitor.
The first and largest literary and arts festival in Northern Nigeria, KABAFEST, powered by the Kaduna State Government, Sterling Bank, Book Buzz Foundation and the Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation, among other partners, seeks to change the way the world sees Northern Nigeria.
In its third year, the book festival is visibly boosting literacy, promoting reading culture, and reigniting passion for literary and performing arts in Northern Nigeria. It has successfully created a haven for culture and literary enthusiasts to gather to dialogue as well as ideate.
Declaring KABAFEST open, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, said the state government conceived the festival to uplift literary, visual and performing arts talents in Northern Nigeria. “The first two editions of the festival showed promise and with this third edition, our aspiration to institutionalised KABAFEST is being attained.”
She disclosed that Kaduna State has embraced its diversity as a blessing, adding that the state views “literature as one of the most important channels for explaining ourselves to each other and the world, building a sense of common community and challenging us to build a better society.”
In his goodwill message at the opening ceremony, Mr. Yemi Odubiyi, Executive Director, Corporate and Investment, Sterling Bank, said the bank decided to support the festival as part of its strategy of investing in human capital to drive Nigeria’s competitiveness.
“We committed to be at the heart of Nigeria’s accelerated development by focusing on critical sectors and the development of human capital. A coordinated culture sector would create jobs and generate foreign exchange earnings for the country. But we recognize that this sector is essentially in need of support which we can provide alongside other stakeholders through platforms that include KABAFEST and the Ake Festival. We are here because KABAFEST provides a platform for young Nigerians to express themselves and to be competitive globally with their skills.”
He added that the bank is proud to be associated with KABAFEST and will remain committed to the development of human capital in critical sectors of the economy.