Digitizing and Sustaining the Cultural Traditions of Kano Through a Food Festival

The ancient city of Kano over the years has grown to be one of the leading global commercial hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Known for its historical and cultural prominence, the city’s transformation has contributed eminently to the development of the Hausa kingdom and traditions.

It is on this note that UNESCO featured the renowned Kurmi market as one of the largest in terms of trans-Sahara trade that still retained its preeminence in the sale and marketing of traditional crafts in leather, local textile materials, and clothing.

Marching into the 21st century with so many changes in the angle of human civilization, one might think Kano is likely going to lose its cultural heritage, but as it appears, with the emergence of organisationsLegacy of Traditions, that will not be happening anytime soon.

While making giant strides to set up a new cultural industry in Kano that will promote local businesses and cultures, featuring art exhibitions and tourism, and host festivals of traditional music, food, and culture — Legacy of Traditions has recently launched into diverse projects that will make an insightful cultural experience thereby encouraging the innovation and digitization to develop strong cultural economies.

It did not come as a surprise that as a cultural brand, Legacy of Traditions is building such an industry through festivals and cultural traditions with the hope of maintaining a rich future heritage not only in Kano but even in other African cities.

In January 2023, Legacy of Traditions staged the Kano Food Festival, a 10-day food sales, exhibition, and experience promoting the food and drinks value chain traditions and businesses in Kano for the sophisticated, urbane market and food enthusiasts across diverse cultures. The idea was to create a marketplace that is inclusive of rural, traditional, fusion, and modern food cultures in Kano.

The festival in its efforts to preserve the food and culture traditions of Kano held at Gidan Rumfa Kano featuring 120 food vendors of diverse categories of food and drinks including cooked food, grains, cereals, condiments, spices and herbs, health and wellness products, dairy products, processed meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Seasoned chefs and restaurants from the palace community in Kano were in attendance to display unique traditional delicacies with secret recipes that have passed through many generations. However, as the festival gave space for tasting the best of Kano’s culinary offerings while supporting local businesses, it was privileged to have the presence of His Royal Highness, the emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, who made it a lively and memorable event.

In a strong partnership with Gold West Africa, Legacy of Traditions also provided access to visitors into a world of luxury and elegance with a stunning selection of gold jewelry where each piece depicts excellent artistry.

“We have found that Kano is the center for all gold transactions. And we have always believed that Kano should be the Dubai of Africa. So we thought what better way than bringing the intuitiveness of precious metals in a digital space and a place like this to promote the trade of gold jewelry,” said the Nigerian Director of Legacy of Traditions, Nere Emiko, on the 5th day of the festival.

The festival’s ambience leaned onto the beautiful moments shared on stage with famous Kannywood singers such as Adam Zango, Ado Gwanja, Maryam Pantimoti, Ali Jita, and a host of others.

Even performance poetry that has recently gained wider acceptance across the country was not sidelined at the festival as mind-blowing performances were recorded by amazing poets like Heedayat Mahmoud, Abubakar Philosopher, Habiba Abdulkadir, and other emerging poets.

“It was amazing and unique. The place was beautiful, the decorations and everything were nice,” Heedayat expressed how she felt attending and performing at the festival.

The biggest peak of the festival was the cooking competition that brought together talented local chefs to demonstrate their skills and ingenuity. 

“From traditional dishes to modern twists, the judges were thoroughly impressed by the quality and variety of the entries. The crowd cheered and applauded as the winners were announced, each of them beaming with pride,” featured Legacy of Traditions on their Instagram page.

The final day of the festival was awe-inspiring as a huge crowd convened to taste and scent delicious aromas that made a lasting impression on them. It was an experience they will hold onto for years to come.

On that account, there is hope that the festival will continue to be held every year with its strong determination of building a fast-rising cultural industry. 

Advancing into the year, from April to December, apart from the Kano Food Festival, there are other festivals such as the Cultural Film Festival, Durbar Festival, and Sahel Music Festival that Legacy of Traditions set to host in this spectacular city to derive a cultural experience journey. Which all are aimed at promoting the cultural heritage of the Kano and Hausa traditions.

Scroll to Top