Sterling Bank Plc restates commitment to promotion of arts

Sterling Bank Plc has said the role of the Kaduna Book and Arts Festival (KABAFEST) in promoting literacy and education aligns perfectly with its HEART strategy, which focuses on investments in five key sectors of the economy, namely: Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Transportation.

In his goodwill message delivered online during the opening ceremony of the festival in Kaduna recently, the Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, noted that the bank invests consistently in education as a tool for human capital development with education as one of the keys to drive prosperity in Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that the arts enrich our lives, it gives us hope and enforces our desires. This is our third year of sponsoring and we could not be prouder to be associated with such an excellent showing of creativity and the celebration of the arts,” Suleiman said.

Before officially declaring the festival open, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, praised Sterling Bank for its sponsorship of the event. He also touched on the history of KabaFest: “I am pleased and honoured to stand here with you during the opening of the 4th edition of KABAFEST.

The idea of KABAFEST was not original. I was in Abeokuta to attend the Ake Arts and Books Festival and thought that we needed something like this in Northern Nigeria to promote our artists and creative platforms because Abeokuta is far from Maiduguri and Sokoto. Kaduna is a little bit closer.”

On her part, Ms Lola Shoneyin, Director of Book Buzz Foundation, organisers of the KABAFEST, expressed her appreciation to the state government and the sponsors: “I want to say how grateful we are to you for being part of a project that has been truly life-changing. As of this moment, yours is still the only state government in Nigeria that is fully funding a book festival for the people of the state.

Kaduna State has set the bar very high. Together, we have created something so valuable and laudable that in several states in Northern Nigeria today and across the country, young people are getting together to establish festivals. This is a huge win for Kaduna State and also a dream come true for me. We cannot achieve anything without our sponsors and supporters. I would like to thank Sterling Bank, which has been on board for the third time in a row. If you open an account with Sterling Bank today, you get a bag with a fantastic set of books.”

Highlights of the vibrant Opening Ceremony included the Sterling Bank’s distribution of free books to participants and attendees, a dance performance, the awarding of the 2021 Hamza El-Rufai Short Story Prize, two poetry readings by Deborah Johnson and Hauwa Saleh, a prose reading by TJ Benson.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Nigerian writer Audee T. Giwa whose works highlight the many facets of life in Northern Nigeria. Giwa, who is also the Shittiman Fatika, is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing. He is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Kaduna State University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *