HIASFEST: A convergence of budding artistic talents

AWAAL GATA reports on the just concluded Hajiya Aliyu Schools Festival (HIAFEST)

With the third edition just concluded, the Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival (HIASFEST) has continued to soar as the most comprehensive and rewarding schools festival in Africa, even without the contribution of the government. It instituted in 2019 by Alhaji Abdullahi Bala Kwatu to immortalise  Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu, the late wife of Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, a famous businessman and Sardaunan Minna.

The third edition of HIASFEST was held from the  February 8 and 11, 2021, in Minna, the capital of Niger state. Organised by Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, the four-day festival drew schools from Abuja, Gombe, Taraba, Benue, Bayelsa, Edo, Osun, Kaduna, Lagos, Kano and Ilorin to showcase their artistic talents in various categories.

The categories include, on-the-spot poetry, on-the-spot hort story writing, on-the-spot literary essay writing, cultural dance, on-the-spot painting, quiz, craft, spoken word, contemporary songs and drama.

In his remark, Chairman, Blueprint Newspapers, Alhaji Mohammed Idris,who chaired the festival’s opening ceremony, commended the organisers and pledged that he would continue to render his support to it.

Represented by the immediate past Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger state, Jibrin Baba Ndace, the publisher handsomely donated a sum of money to the festival.

The sponsor of the festival, Alhaji Abdullahi Bala Kwatu, also commended the students for their courage to showcase their talents, noting that the essence of HIASFEST  was to trigger in them talentsthat would proffer solutions to the problems bedevilling the world.

Kwatu expressed optimism that if the talents imbued in the youngsters are properly harnessed across Nigeria, the challenges in which the country has been mired would be addressed forthwith.

He challenged other individuals, cooperate organisations and governments at various to invest more on children, in view of the fact that they are future leaders.

The founder of Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Mallam BM Dzukogi in his speech commended the sponsors of the festival for their magnanimity, saying, “the most deserving entity in Nigeria are the children since it is the community that needs to fix the society.” He  stated that it is natural for children to be curious and passionate about exploring their talents, their fathers, mothers, teachers and the entire community ought to “fully support them.”

At the end of the festival, two undergraduate scholarships were awarded. Other awards that were given were: Golden Awards for four distinguished Art Administrators in Nigeria, Best Awards for Male and Female Teachers, Most Valuable Contestants, HIASFEST Star Prize, andprizes for winning schools and students.

The festival also awarded national literary prizes such as: the Nigerian Prize for Teen Authors in Prose and Poetry; the Nigerian Prize for Indigenous Indigenous Languages in Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Nupe and Gbagyi for Creative works and Science books.

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