The Guardian UK interviews Muhtar Bakare

Muhtar Bakare

Muhtar Bakare, ex-banker, book lover and MD/CEO of Kachifo Limited, gave an insightful interview with The Guardian recently. Read an excerpt below:

Muhtar Bakare believes in the quietest of revolutions. He thinks what we read can change us. He has lived and worked in Nigeria all his life and passionately believes everyone has the right to tell their own story.

His own is remarkable. He gave up his position as a bank executive to start an independent publishing house because no one was publishing fiction. Did people shake their heads over the brave folly of his enterprise? “Definitely! But setting up a publishing company was always going to be a challenge. And it still is: we have no distribution network and there is blatant piracy – infringement of intellectual property. People have to struggle against this, which can inhibit the power to be productive.”

But nothing seems to inhibit Bakare. He cites his voracious reading as a spur – he studied architecture at university and was fascinated by politics and economics. This showed him the world was “ruled by ideas and I was concerned Nigerians were not contributing enough to their production”. He became a banker because finance was “part of the way the world was structured” and he understood its influence. But he maintains that, even as he joined, he knew he would one day leave to become a publisher.

Culled from The Guardian. Read the rest of this article here.

Invitation to Farafina Trust Literary Evening

To mark the end of the 2012 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop, Farafina Trust will be holding a literary evening, which is open to the public.

As always, the literary evening presents an opportunity for writers, literary enthusiasts and lovers of the arts to mingle and interact. This year’s event will feature legendary singer, Onyeka Onwenu, and writers Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina, Rob Spillman, Jeff Allen, and a host of others.

Date: Friday, 24th August 2012
Time: 5 p.m.
Venue: The Grand Ballroom, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos

Everyone is invited, so please bring a friend. Your favourite Farafina titles will be available for sale.

See you there!

Invitation to Official Launch of Eghosa Imasuen’s Fine Boys

Farafina Books will be launching the print version of Eghosa Imasuen’s Fine Boys, which has been recently released. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be hosting the launch, and there will be readings by Eghosa, from Fine Boys. Binyavanga Wainaina will also be reading from his much-acclaimed memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place.

There will be music and spoken word performances by Honey Adum and Efe Paul Azino, and freebies for some lucky guests. Guests will also get a chance to chat with the authors and get their books signed. Your favourite Farafina titles will be available for sale.

Date: Saturday, 25 August 2012
Time: 2 p.m.
Venue: Quintessence, Falomo Shopping Complex,  Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos

Entry is absolutely free! Bring a friend!

Apple to Replace Orange as Sponsor of Fiction Prize?

The Telegraph reports that Apple has been in talks to support the Orange Prize for Fiction, an award that celebrates women’s writing throughout the world, replacing the UK mobile operator after 17 years of sponsorship.

Orange’s parent company, Everything Everywhere, announced that it would relinquish sponsorship of the prize in May, prompting suggestions that another fruit company would step in to fill the void. As The Telegraph points out, this may become a reality with discussions between Apple and the award’s organisers entering “advanced stages.”

However, it may face competition from device maker, Kobo, which offers a range of popular e-book readers similar to Amazon’s Kindle.

Culled from Read the rest of the article here

“WE WANT YOUR FILM!”: Announcing LCA 2012


Wherever you are in the world, and whether you are reading this at film school, in your basement, secret laboratory or elsewhere: WE WANT YOUR FILM!

The second Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! (LCA) Film Festival takes place in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria, from 28th September to 1st October 2012, with the theme “Shine Your Eye”.

Against a background of political movements, seismic and even incremental shifts across the African continent in the past year, we have witnessed a spreading spirit of community mobilisation with the growth of ‘Occupy’ movements, each one emboldening the ones that come after. This growing sense of urgency has fuelled the courage of ordinary citizens to actively participate in change that proves to be inevitable. ‘Shine Your Eye’ – a Nigerian pidgin English phrase used to encourage awareness – embodies the resolve of the active citizen asking questions, seeking answers and possessing their space.

LCA 2012 brings you the very best of the brightest ideas in African cinema, and this year we introduce a prize for Festival Favourite.

The start date for entries is 16th  July 2012, and you can send us your films via post to LCA 2012 Film Festival, Block A1 – A10, Suite 306, Sura Shopping Complex, Simpson Street, Lagos. You can find the online form for entries and all necessary information at

Please note that films need to have been made after January 2011, and must be received by us on or before 30th August 2012.

We look forward to watching your films.

This message is brought to you by the Life House Team. For more information, email or call +234 703 403 0683.


Putting Nigeria on the Map again



You have probably already heard that Port Harcourt was recently named UNESCO World Book Capital for the year 2014. But what does this mean for the city, and for Nigeria? It means that we are getting recognized again; and for something positive this time, as is not often the case.

Each year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry—the International Publishers Association (IPA), International Booksellers Federation (IBF) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)—select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, starting April 23 each year. This initiative marks a joint effort by key stakeholders in the publishing industry and cities to promote books and literacy.

According to the selection committee, the city of Port Harcourt was chosen “on account of the quality of its programme, in particular its focus on youth, and the impact it will have on improving Nigeria’s culture of books, reading, writing and publishing to improve literacy rates”.

Port Harcourt is the 14th city to be named World Book Capital. The following cities have been named World Book Capital in previous years: Madrid (2001), Alexandria (2002), New Delhi (2003), Antwerp (2004), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Bogota (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Beirut (2009), Ljubljana (2010), Buenos Aires (2011), Yerevan (2012) and Bangkok (2013).

The bid was put forth by Rainbow Book Club, organizers of the much acclaimed yearly Garden City Literary Festival, which attracts some of the biggest names in the world of literature, in collaboration with the Rivers State Government. We say a big well done, and thank you for once again putting us on the map!

Selected Writers for 2012 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

In April, Farafina Trust called for entries for the 2012 Farafina Trust creative writing workshop, inviting writers from all over the world to submit their short pieces. From the numerous applicants, twenty-two outstanding writers have been selected to participate in the workshop this year, which will be taught by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina and other writers of note.

They selected writers this year are:

1. Onomarie Francesca
2. Chidinma Nnamani
3. Gbenga Awomodu
4. Ese Emuwa
5. Kanife Ejike
6. Kechi Nomu
7. Samuel Kolawole
8. Efembe Eke
9. Chinagorom Martin Emeka
10. Senan Murray
11. Husnee Hayat
12. Nana Darkoa Sekyiaamah
13. Nasir Yammama
14. Mona Zutshi Opubor
15. Yemisi Ogbe
16. Chika Oduah
17. Abdulaziz Ahmed Abdulaziz
18. Richard Um Alli
19. Yewande Omotosho
20. Fred Chiagozie Nwonwu
21. Monique Kwachou
22. Nnamdi Eme-Awa

We thank everyone who submitted entries this year, and we say congratulations to the selected writers!