Le Petit Marche: Lifestyle. Fashion. Fun.

Another reason we’re looking forward to this long Democracy Day weekend?  Le Petit Marche!  Le Petit Marche is an indoor market (or flea market to some) that takes place the last Sunday of every month.  This will be Farafina’s first time participating at Le Petit Marche however we just can’t believe it’s taken us this long!  LPM is now permanently based at GET Arena and will be taking place this Sunday, May 30th, 2010 and it starts at 12pm.  As always we are very much looking forward to meeting everyone there.

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There will be quite a few stalls dedicated to men at this May edition and you could even get a FREE Facial, and who could say no to that?  Here’s just a small selection of vendors that will also be showcasing their wares at LPM:

The White Dress Shop – The White Dress Shop where gorgeous clothing meets the ultimate fashion savvy chick. Cultivated by her love for all things fashionable, The White Dress Shop embodies the modern girl’s style and taste. We showcase fabulous clothing from the collections of very talented designers with amazing individual and unique styles. Each item is carefully selected based on the trends and styles that our girl loves to wear 

Cam Cam Sweets – Confectionary!!! UK and Retro sweets (Haribo, Swizzels, Wham Bars , Sherbet etc).  Sold in a variety of selection packs of 150g, &500g ranging from N800-N2,000. 

Grey – Great wearable clothes designed and made by the ‘Boy and Girl’ of Grey

Home Essentials – We sell a wide range of home products such as vases, flowers, yankee candles, figurines and so on. We sell both wholesale and retail and we do party souvenirs for birthdays, weddings etc.

Fab Magazine – Fashion and lifstyle magazine

Ovie Brume Foundation – A variety of clothing and fabric, primarily from India, all being sold to benefit The Ovie Brume Foundation, a charitable organisation focused on empowering children in State Schools in Lagos. Stock includes:
Silk scarves (plain and embroidered); silk and cotton tunics & dresses; embroidered tablemats and throws; silk and cotton fabrics. We also sell Daviva brand of local Ankara fabric.

Homes etcetera – House accessories, souvenirs, home improvement, curtains, bed sheets, mirrors, bedroom rugs, clocks, flower, and vases

Sac et al. – Unique beaded vintage inspired handbags, rings and belts that suit all occasions from day to night looks. Truly timeless pieces…

and of course Farafina Books!

Farafina Trust

We’re so excited about this upcoming weekend and for good reason!  The wheels of Farafina Trust have been chugging extra time over the past one week as they (Farafina Trust is a sister organization) have been hosting their annual Creative Writing Workshop with Chimamanda Adichie.  Several award-winning and celebrated African writers are indeed in Lagos to help facilitate this workshop.  These are Adaobi Nwaubani, Binyavanga Wainaina, Chika Unigwe, Niq Mhlongo, Ama Ata Aidoo, and Sade Adeniran.

Farafina Trust

Well, all the hard work has been done and now it’s time for the finale party.  This is where Farafina Books, of course, loves to join in the fun!  To celebrate the end of the 2nd Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop, Chimamanda Adichie will be fete-ing the visiting writers, and Commonwealth Prize Winners, Adaobi Nwaubani, author of I Do Not Come to You by Chance, and Sade Adeniran, author of Imagine This, will also be reading from their work.

Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80 band will also be performing live!

Date and Time: Saturday the 29th of May 2010, 3pm

Venue: Lagos Civic Centre

Be there or be….square! (for lack of a better phrase).

BookJam @ Silverbird 4

If you haven’t had a chance to attend the lovely monthly series “BookJam @ Silverbird”  well, you’re lucky as another wonderful edition is right at your doorstep.  This event is for anyone who’s an avid reader and supporter of African Literature, as it gives a rare opportunity to meet a selection of writers every month.  You really don’t want to miss it.

“The BookJam @ Silverbird” is a monthly event that consists of book readings, discussions, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw. At each edition of the BookJam you have the chance to meet and discuss with some of our finest writers—and you might win a prize too, if you buy their books.

The BookJam is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store.

The 4th edition of the BookJam will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 22 May 2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The guest writers are:

SADE ADENIRAN is a graduate of the University of Plymouth and also spent time as an exchange student at the University of Massachusetts. She has written various pieces for theatre and her work has been performed at the Lyric, the Bush and the Riverside Studios. She won the “Best First Book Prize” (Africa Region) in the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her debut novel Imagine This. She lives and works in London, and is working on her second novel.

CHUMA NWOKOLO is a lawyer and writer. He was writer-in-residence of the Ashmolean Museum and chair of Leys Newspapers, Oxford. He is the publisher of African Writingmagazine. He has written short stories, novels and poetry. His story, Diary of a Dead African, was chosen by La Internazionale as one of the 3 best stories worldwide in 2003. He lives in the UK.

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE is the author of Purple HibiscusHalf of a Yellow Sun, and The Thing Around Your NeckPurple Hibiscus won the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) and Half of a Yellow Sunwon the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. Her latest book, The Thing Around Your Neck, was shortlisted for the 2009 John Llewellyn-Rhys Memorial Prize. She lives between Nigeria and the US.

BINYAVANGA WAINAINA is the founding editor of the literary magazine Kwani?. He won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002 for his story Discovering Home. He is currently a Director at The Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the GuardianGranta andNational Geographic.


Refreshment provided by: COKE

Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in the BookJam raffle draw. Any questions about the BookJam should be emailed to auggustmedia@gmail.com

Unveiling of Mini-Museum “Jaekel House” at Railway Compound

Farafina is proud to support the Legacy project to restore Jaekel House in the Railway Compound located in Ebutte Metta.  Many of us have driven past or even inside the Railway Compound only to marvel and wistfully imagine the glory of this wonderful area of Lagos.  Railway compound is easily the closest to the tranquility and greenery of Southwest Ikoyi and still has many houses in the same colonial style.

Restoration of Jaekel House

However, unlike Ikoyi, Railway has been largely abandoned in the past few years and many of its structure have been left to rot.  Legacy decided to take one of the largest properties on the grounds and renovate it beautifully to it’s past glory.  The group will be turning Jaekel House into its headquarters and a Mini-Museum of the rich history of the railway grounds.


You are cordially invited to the


The Iconic historic building restoration work


Mini railway museum and Nigeria in transition photographic exhibition, with a short lecture by Prof John Godwin OFR. OBE.

At 17 Federal Road, Railway Compound, Ebute Metta, on Sat15th May, at 10am

Jaekel house, an over 100 years old example of classic colonial architecture, that once housed the MD of the Railway corporation, has been painstakingly restored by Professor of Architecture John Godwin. You will be able to have a glimpse into the colonial past of Nigeria as you tread the large verandas of this fine structure, with its myriad of windows and louvers, and take in the wonderful photographic exhibitions of “Nigeria in transition” and “The colonial railways”. Prof Godwin shall be there to eloquently elucidate. The railway compound itself is an oasis of tranquillity in the hustle and bustle of the mega city and is only a 15 minute go slow free journey to and from Ikoyi / VI at this time of day. It will certainly be a memorable morning well spent.

Handa’s Surprise Named on Best Children’s Book List!

Imagine our joy and elation as we read through the Guardian UK Online Books Section (as we usually do) and we see that one of our favorites “Handa’s Surprise” by Eileen Browne, published in Nigeria by Farafina Books, was named on the list of Best Children’s Books Ever in the ages 0-2 category.  Of course here at Farafina we always publish the best books we can get our hands on so we’re not so much surprised at this but elated that others are confirming what we’ve known all along!

Handa’s Surprise is a story about an African girl called Handa who decided to take a basket of fruits to her friend Akeyo.  She spends the time wondering which fruit would be her friend’s favourite but unbeknownst to her, she meets some animals along the way who find the fruits irresistable!  It is Handa herself who is surprised at what she finds when she finally reaches her friend.

Nigerian International Book Fair 2010

We’re pretty stoked to be participating in the Nigerian International Book Fair (NIBF) once again this year.  The fair will run from Monday May 9th, to Saturday May 15, 2010 at the Multipurpose Halls of the University of Lagos Campus in Yaba.

The NIBF is the top publishing event in the country and attracts over 100 publishers, bookshops, and other related companies who set up at the book fair to promote their products and the industry at large.  Last year the book fair welcomed over 10,000 visitors over the course of one week.

Like last year, this year Farafina will be available throughout the course of the fair and we will also be participating in the Buyers & Sellers meeting as well as the Book Marketing workshop.  We’d love to meet all of so please stop by stall D24!

One-Day Creative Writing Workshop in Abuja with Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) in collaboration with the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy, Abuja will be hosting a one-day creative writing workshop in Abuja on May 15, 2010.

The resource person for the workshop will be Chimamanda Adichie herself, who will also be doing a public reading in the evening of the same day.  Although the deadline date for the workshop has passed, you can still attend the public reading where there will be a chance to meet with Chimamanda and perhaps get a book or two signed.  Details will soon be announced but you can contact:

Tunji Ajibade

Secretary – Abuja Writers Forum (AWF)




You can also visit the Farafina Trust website farafinatrust.org for more info.

Africa’s Fresh Voices on Caine Shortlist

Many have heard of The Caine Prize for African Writing but not many know the origin of the prize many people refer to as Africa’s Booker.  The prize receives it’s name from the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker Plc and a man who was dedicated to Africa and showcasing the work of African writers for much of his life.  At his death, his team of friends of colleagues decided to continue his legacy and establish a prize of 10,000 GBP to be awarded annually to an exception African writer for a short story work.  The Caine Prize is supported by various organizations and foundations and has as its Patrons the African winners of the Nobel prize for Literature – Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, J,M Coetzee – as well as Chinua Achebe.  Ben Okri (a Farafina author) chaired the panel of Judges for the first edition in 2000.

This year, the Caine Prize has unveiled its shortlist of fresh voices in African writing with a diverse group of five writers who’s work, life, and experiences span right across the continent and the globe.

I had the opportunity of meeting one of the shortlisted authors, Olufemi Terry, last year and apart from the fact that he’s such a nice chap who’s passionate about his writing, I can guarantee that there’s a lot more coming from him.  We wish everyone boatloads of luck!


Granta Deputy Editor speaks with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

Ellah Allfrey, Deputy Editor of Granta, is a friend of Farafina (really, we have many friends!)  She was in Lagos a few months ago to facilitate a Workshop for Farafina Trust, our sister organization.  One of the many perks of being part of Farafina Books is the opportunity to attend such workshops.  Ms. Allfrey  was very warm, informative, and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of publishing.

Now, the esteemed Ngugi Wa Thiong’o is also a Farafina author, with his book “Wizard of the Crow.”  This interview is to publicize the latest entry in Ngugi’s memoirs “Dreams in a Time of War,” in which the prolific author not only touches on shades from his childhood: colonialism, polygamy, etc.; but also talks about the new generation of young African writers and his thoughts about their work.  “Dreams in a Time of War,’ was published in spring 2010 and two more volumes of Ngugi’s memoirs are forthcoming.