HIASFEST, the annual art and science festival hosted by the Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation (HCAF), is gearing up for its much-anticipated 2024 edition. The festival, hailed as the largest in Africa, has gained recognition for its Pan-African and Pan-Nigerian spirit, dedicated to promoting creative writing and science books in indigenous languages, with a particular focus on computer science.
The driving force behind HIASFEST is Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu, an alumnus of Bayero University, Kano, where he studied History. Supported by the Aliyu Trust Foundation, the initiative has garnered immense popularity and is known for its commitment to preserving and celebrating the diverse languages of the continent.
Scheduled to take place in Niger State, Nigeria, HIASFEST 2024 will mark the festival’s impressive sixth year. All ages are welcome to participate, reflecting the inclusive nature of the event, which aims to bridge the gap between art, science, and language.
The festival’s primary objective is to champion the promotion of creative writing and science books in various Nigerian indigenous languages, particularly in the realm of computer science. By encouraging the creation of technology-related literature in these languages, HIASFEST seeks to foster a broader interest in and appreciation for scientific knowledge among the masses, especially children.
One of the standout features of HIASFEST is its commendable support for writers and creators in indigenous languages. This year’s edition will offer cash prizes amounting to N1,750,000 for outstanding contributions in creative writing and computer science books in specific indigenous languages. Languages such as Gbagyi, Hausa, Fulfulde, Yoruba, Igbo, Pidgin, French, and Arabic will be recognised, with varying prize amounts for different languages and subject areas.
The vision driving this initiative is rooted in the belief that promoting indigenous languages is essential for preserving cultural heritage and fostering technological growth within local communities. By elevating the status of these languages and encouraging their use in educational and scientific literature, HIASFEST aims to empower future generations with a deeper understanding of their roots and a stronger foothold in the digital age.
As anticipation grows for HIASFEST 2024, organisers and participants alike are eager to witness the cultural exchange and knowledge-sharing that the festival promises to offer. With its unwavering commitment to promoting indigenous languages and technological literature, HIASFEST continues to be a beacon of creativity and learning for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.