• Makurdi comes alive with 6 amazing days of the Benue Book and Arts Festival (20 – 25 June 2022)

    Makurdi comes alive with 6 amazing days of the Benue Book and Arts Festival (20 – 25 June 2022)

    Ladies, gentlemen, others!

    We are here again with the Benue Book and Arts Festival and this year we have 6 days scheduled for great literary fun, from June 20th to 25th 2022.

    This year’s edition is billed for June 20th to 25th 2022, and is themed ‘ART AND THE CONVERGENCE.’ The theme is open-ended but can also be seen as how art converges with other things for results: whether it be history, activism, development, anarchy, or just about anything. It can also be looked at in the light of art surrounded by the convergence of people, things or a state in any context. Some of the projected panels including some on publishing and editing, the metaverse, and the role of arts in various spheres. There will be a slam competition worth a hundred thousand on the night of June 25th 2022. On the same day, there is also meant to be a competition for secondary schools that will feature drama, on-the-spot writing, and a spelling bee. It will also feature the book unveiling of the talented and popular poets, Umar Sidi and Oko Owi Ocho Afrika (who is a co-director of the festival for this year).

    There will be virtual sessions throughout the festival, with daily critique and writer sessions by 4:30pm at Metroprime Hotel (from 20th to 23rd June 2022 with a palm wine reading on the 23rd where we hope to have a high-profile conversation on ‘Deconstructing the Canon: Literature, Language, Theories, Politics and Nationhood’ featuring Professors Dul Johnson and Egya Sule, with other scholars). The major part of the festival will be held at Steam Lounge, Old GRA, Makurdi, Benue State, on the 24th and 25th June 2022 (from 9am to 9pm).

    There will be three keynote addresses from three acclaimed veteran scholars who are multiple award-winning writers across the genres. Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi discusses the convergence of the Nigerian film story with modern undertones via Zoom on 22nd June 2022, Professor Dul Johnson looks at the convergence of things at the opening ceremony on 24th June 2022 by 10am in Makurdi, and Professor Egya Sule (a.k.a E. E. Sule) will dissect literature, activism and the contemporary quest for a leadership revolution in society on 25th June 2022 in Makurdi.

    FLYER@100x-100 (4)

    The Benue Book and Arts Festival (BBAAF) is a top literary festival among other key festivals in Nigeria that have been on for over a decade. Besides having literary workshops and keynote addresses, the festival comes up every year with a national contest in different art categories. Guests at the festival have included H.E. Dr Eunice Ortom, Professor Moses Tsenongu, Professor Dul Johnson, Dr Maria Ajima, Pa Isaac Yongo, internationally acclaimed sensation Chuma Nwokolo, superstar spoken word artist Bash Amuneni, T. J. Benson, past Presidents and Chairmen of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Charles Iornumbe, Igba Ogbole, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Edentu Oroso, Terseer Sam Baki, Thaddeus Naor, Sam Ogabidu,  Amara Chimeka, Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu, Anselm Sesugh Ngutsav, Joshua Agbo, Umar Yogiza, Bentex Torlafia, Maik Ortserga, amongst other notable officials, development workers, commissioners, and writers from the length and breadth of the country.

    BBAAF is in its 4th year after having its maiden edition in 2019. The 2021 edition held virtually via Zoom and social media channels from August 4th 2021 to the in-person events at the Art Theatre Complex of the Benue State University, Makurdi, on August 6th and 7th 2021.

    This year’s edition is billed for June 20th to 25th 2022, and is themed ‘ART AND THE CONVERGENCE.’ The theme is open-ended but can also be seen as how art converges with other things for results: whether it be history, activism, development, anarchy, or just about anything. It can also be looked at in the light of art surrounded by the convergence of people, things or a state in any context. Some of the projected panels including some on publishing and editing, the metaverse, and the role of arts in various spheres. There will be a slam competition worth a hundred thousand on the night of June 25th 2022. On the same day, there is also meant to be a competition for secondary schools that will feature drama, on-the-spot writing, and a spelling bee.

    Confirmed guests for this edition (virtually and physically) include Professors Hyginus Ekwuazi, Professor Dul Johnson, Professor Egya Sule, Professor Idris Amali, Dr Maria Ajima, Dr Soji Cole, Bash Amuneni, Umar Sidi, Jerry Adesewo, Benjamin Bentex Torlafia, Umar Yogiza, Amara Chimeka, Azafi Omoluabi,  Iquo DianaAbasi, Raymond Anyasi, Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, Nana Awere Damoah, Bizuum Yadok, Romeo Oriogun, Aondosoo Labe, and Dr. Peace Sorochi Longdet, Minoli Salgado and Emma Newport, among others.

    FLYER 3

    The 2021 edition, themed BRIDGES BEYOND BORDERS: ART BEYOND CONVENTION examined how art functions as a nexus between humanity and development and the concept of freedom. It looked at art in its various forms or individually as bridges beyond borders (spatial, physical, geographic, emotional etc). Discussions also revolved around mental health, sexual and gender-based violence, the role of art, artists and scholars in changing society. It featured keynote addresses from Professors Niyi Osundare and Leticia Mbaiver Nyitse. There were panel discussions and book sessions with multiple award-winning fiction maestro and winner, NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim; celebrated Welsh-based Cameroonian author, Eric Ngalle Charles; foremost African travel writer, Pelu Awofeso; the poet Umar Yogiza Jnr and Su’eddie Vershima Agema, amongst others. Other participants and attendees included multiple award-winning scholars and writers, Professor Moses Tsenongu and Dr Maria Ajima of the Benue State University, Makurdi; Maik Ortserga, General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors; the outstanding writers Dr Agatha Agema, Servio Gbadamosi,  and Aondosoo Labe. The festival also included a festival performance (an enactment of Su’eddie Vershima Agema’s Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile) by the Benue Poetry Troupe, live performances and a slam competition which was won by Abbas Shittu Suleiman.

    This year’s edition is put together by SEVHAGE Literary and Development Initiative, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation,  the University of Sussex, Sussex Writes, and Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative, Sankofa Initiative, Mr Tine Agernor, SEVHAGE Publishers and Purple Shelves publishers, with support from Goethe Institut.

    For inquiries, send an email to benuefest@gmail.com or call +2347030285995.

    Once more, it is our pleasure to bring to you an excellent festival that joins in bringing much-needed change to the world.

    With our very best wishes,

    Su’ur Su’eddie Vershima Agema & Oko Owi Ocho
    Festival Directors 2022

    BBAAF Slam 2022 Poster

  • Benue Book and Arts Festival Poetry Slam 2022

    Benue Book and Arts Festival Poetry Slam 2022

    As part of the events for the Benue Book and Arts Festival 2022, we will be having an awesome poetry slam, among other judges. It is open to participants from anywhere and everywhere!!

    Date: Saturday 25th June, 2022
    Time: 6:00pm
    Venue: Steam Lounge, Old GRA, Makurdi, Benue State

    BBAAF Slam 2022 Poster

    Guidelines:
    1. The performance consists of three rounds.
    2. Performers are rated based on the content and performance style.
    3. Performance time is 1 minute for the first round, 2minutes for the second and 1 min for the final round.
    4. The No Repeat Rule: No poem may be used in more than one round if the performer progresses to another round. She/he must use a different piece in the next round.
    5. Contestants are expected to register before the day of the performance by paying the sum of N2000 only to 0471186505 SEVHAGE Integrated Services Ltd (GUARANTY TRUST BANK). Send evidence of payment to: WHATSAPP/SMS 09123252193 .
    6. Contestants should be available for final documentation an hour before the slam commences.
    7. There is no theme or style restriction on the performances.
    8. Every poem must be an original work, written and performed by the poet.
    9. If there is a tie, the contestants will be invited to perform another round for a final decision.
    10. The judges’ decisions are final.

    For more information: 07030285995 / 09123252193

    Email: benuefest@gmail.com

    BBAAF Updated June 2022

  • ANNOUNCING BBAAF 2022

    ANNOUNCING BBAAF 2022

    Ladies, gentlemen, others!

    It is our super pleasure to announce to you that our Benue Book and Arts Festival 2022 is here again!! We will have our virtual panels and then, a power packed day of in-person panels in Makurdi on the 24th and 25th. The general dates for the festival are from 20th to 25th June, 2022.

    BBAAF Updated June 2022

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  • The Benue Book and Arts Festival and a Changing Narrative

    The Benue Book and Arts Festival and a Changing Narrative

    (August 26th 2019)

    The residue of compulsive novelty and fervour still lingers in Makurdi Benue State, weeks after the debut Benue Book and Arts Festival lit up the city with wild energy in June. Predominantly known for its famed River Benue, Benue State is an agrarian state in Nigeria that conjures thoughts of tremendous agricultural food produce, incredible hospitality and the infamous Herdsmen-Farmers clash. The state capital Makurdi where the festival held, is garbled with high-walled houses flanked by shacks, busy streets of impatient motorcyclists, spilling buses with chatty drivers, hawkers of assorted wares and a motley of people. The bridge that looms over the river affords a view of the purring water and the tiny dots of fishermen huts at the river bank. This suggestive ambience of calm and repose of the city, especially in the evenings for literary flourishing is however, misleading. The city trots in regards to being a literary hub as it affords little thriving space for its emerging writers.

    (more…)

  • Introducing BBAAF!

    Introducing BBAAF!

    The Benue Book and Arts Festival (BBAAF) is a top literary festival among other key festivals in Nigeria that have been on for over a decade. Besides having literary workshops and keynote addresses, the festival comes up every year with a national contest in different art categories. Guests at the festival have included H.E. Dr Eunice Ortom, Professor Moses Tsenongu, Professor Dul Johnson, Dr Maria Ajima, Pa Isaac Yongo, internationally acclaimed sensation Chuma Nwokolo, superstar spoken word artist Bash Amuneni, T. J. Benson, past Presidents and Chairmen of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Dr. Charles Iornumbe, Igba Ogbole, Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, Edentu Oroso, Terseer Sam Baki, Thaddeus Naor, Sam Ogabidu,  Amara Chimeka, Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu, Anselm Sesugh Ngutsav, Joshua Agbo, Umar Yogiza, Bentex Torlafia, Maik Ortserga, amongst other notable officials, development workers, commissioners, and writers from the length and breadth of the country.

    BBAAF is in its 4th year after having its maiden edition in 2019. The 2021 edition held virtually via Zoom and social media channels from 4th August 2021 to the in-person events at the Art Theatre Complex of the Benue State University, Makurdi, on 6th and 7th August 2021.

    This year’s edition is billed for 20-26 June 2022 and is themed ‘ART AND THE CONVERGENCE’.

    The 2021 edition, themed BRIDGES BEYOND BORDERS: ART BEYOND CONVENTION examined how art functions as a nexus between humanity and development and the concept of freedom. It looked at art in its various forms or individually as bridges beyond borders (spatial, physical, geographic, emotional etc). Discussions also revolved around mental health, sexual and gender-based violence, the role of art, artists and scholars in changing society. It featured keynote addresses from Professors Niyi Osundare and Leticia Mbaiver Nyitse. There were panel discussions and book sessions with multiple award winning fiction maestro and winner, NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim; celebrated Welsh-based Cameroonian author, Eric Ngalle Charles; foremost African travel writer, Pelu Awofeso; the poet Umar Yogiza Jnr and Su’eddie Vershima Agema, amongst others. Other participants and attendees included multiple award-winning scholars and writers, Professor Moses Tsenongu and Dr Maria Ajima of the Benue State University, Makurdi; Maik Ortserga, General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors; the outstanding writers Dr. Agatha Agema, Servio Gbadamosi,  and Aondosoo Labe. The festival also included a festival performance (an enactment of Su’eddie Vershima Agema’s Home Equals Holes: Tale of an Exile) by the Benue Poetry Troupe, live performances and a slam competition.

    The 2021 edition was put together by SEVHAGE Literary and Development Initiative, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation,  Mr. Tine Agernor, Writers’ League of the Benue State University, the University of Sussex, Sussex Writes, and Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative, Sankofa Initiative, SEVHAGE Publishers and Purple Shelves publishers, among others.

    As we celebrate literature in our beloved Benue state and continually change the narrative of our land by showcasing it for the beauty that it holds, we thank you for partnering with us.

    With our very best wishes,

    S. Su’eddie Vershima Agema and Oko Owi Ocho
    Festival Directors

    [Please send inquiries, registration and all to benuefest@gmail.com and/or sevhage@gmail.com. You can also call +2347030285995; +2349123252193]

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