3 literary platforms in Sokoto, namely Book O’clock Review, Poetry Club UDUS and Caliphate Arts and Literary Forum have come together to organise the first book and arts festival in the state.

The festival is called Sokoto Book and Arts Festival with the acronym SOBAFest and is set to hold on Saturday, 17th July at the University Auditorium, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto and Sunday, 18th July online on a streaming platform.

The theme of the festival is “Changing the Narrative” which aims to address the anti-literary stereotype the state is being labelled with, by showcasing indigenous literary and cultural talents.

The books for the first edition of the festival include “Boom Boom” by Jude Idada, “A Sackful of Wishes” by Azizah Idris, “Yar’fari” by A’aisha Abdulkahreem and “Dreams and Assorted Nightmares” by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. They are all available at the official SOBAFest store, Book O’clock Store.

Book and Arts Festivals are literary and artistic festivals held worldwide, that aim at celebrating books and other productions of the mind. It has been held in Nigerian states like Lagos (LABAF), Abuja (ALITFest), Kaduna (KABAFest) among many others.

These groups are looking at putting up the first festival in Sokoto state and they are armed with a vision:
“To make sustainable impacts that cross-connect traditional and modern innovation in arts and literature. One that draws the attention of the global space to the excellence of creatives from/in Sokoto state.”

Prior to now, these groups had organised a number of physical and virtual events preceding the festival. On 16th June, 2021, they held a secondary school quiz competition among 11 schools in Sokoto. The quiz featured the students critically studying a literary text, Yar’fari by A’aisha Abdulkahreem and had afterward defended their studies by answering tactical questions from the book. Brilliant Footsteps International Academy emerged the winner after a highly competitive contest.

As part of the preceding activities also, they organised a two-day Writing Masterclass that featured two experts in African literature training participants on poetry and prose. The poetry masterclass facilitated by an award-winning poet, Saddiq Dzukogi was held on Saturday, 26th June while the prose masterclass facilitated by another award-winning writer, Sada Malumfashi was held the following day, Sunday, 27th June all on Zoom.

There was as well a virtual reading and chat sessions with some of the finest African writers writing today. On Saturday, 10th July, they hosted Azizah Idris to a reading and chat about her award-winning novel, A Sackful of Wishes.

While on Sunday, 11th July, they hosted sensational writer, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim to a chat about his latest book, Dreams and Assorted Nightmares.

Line-up of events for the two days include a poetry slam, a stage play, arts exhibition, dance, music, live paintings, body arts, book readings and chats, panel discussions and much more. Tailored to suit the times, the first day, Saturday is physical but will be streamed live, while the second day, Sunday will be completely virtual. Don’t miss out.

Visit @sobafest on all social media platforms for more information.