By Adamu Usman Garko
YBTC News—The Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival (HIASFEST) is organised by Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria, on behalf of Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu who is the key sponsor. The program is designed purposely for giving voice to secondary schools students through arts and culture. It is through goal-oriented efforts like this that human beings reaffirm their honour as the greatest of all creature by their exceptional display of brilliance.
The maiden edition of Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival held in 2019, targeting secondary school students as the future upholders of artistic production, innovation and knowledge. In BM Dzukogi’s words, Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation as the organizer, seeks to offer time and space for young creative minds to engage in meaningful art works that impact the world for the greater good of humanity.
The festival is a four-day event that comprises of on-the-spot poetry writing, on-the-spot short story writing, painting, craft, contemporary song in English, cultural dance, quiz contest, literary essay writing, spoken word, and drama including National literary awards and offer of scholarships to deserving students. It is without doubt that the event draws youths from nook and crannies of Nigeria. The event organisers are currently exploring the possibility of getting West African countries to attend the subsequent editions.
According to Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu, the initiator of the program, the festival targets young persons of secondary school age because at that age, their minds are still open to receiving and processing changes and they are also curious enough to explore and accept the unique nature of mankind.
The four-day festival also offers an avenue for interactive creative sessions among the youths, where they are thoroughly engaged and mentored, intellectual compositions on current and timely issues bedeviling our country. The innovative project also aims at combating fear, socio-cultural and religious intolerance amongst young people and fosters a sense of unity, tolerance of diversity and subsequent embrace of and respect for each other’s differences.
Adamu Usman Garko is the 2020 winner of the Nigeria Prize for Teen Authors (Poetry Category) and the recipient of the 2020 HIASFEST National Star Prize.