Busy October – events and readings

It promises to be a hectic few weeks for staff and friends of Farafina. We finally release Nigerian editions of two titles that have taken the world by storm.

Binyavanga Wainaina’s memoir, his debut book, One Day I Will Write About this Place has been named as a Book of the Festival at the 2013 edition of the Port Harcourt Book Festival which will run from 21st to the 26th of October in, you guessed it, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Formerly known as the Garden City Literary Festival, the PHBF will be the gracious hosts to the Nigerian launch of Binyavanga’s books on Friday, the 25th of October at the Royal Banquet Hall of The Hotel Presidential. This event, which with Binyavanga and his book as its subject promises to be super, will be followed by a book signing at the Atlantic Hall.


Igoni Barrett collection of short stories has received uncommon praise from many quarters. Love is Power or Something Like That was described quite succinctly by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer as, “Something alive, like that.” As a writer who has had a long relationship with us, we are particularly proud to be presenting the Nigerian Farafina edition of this collection of short stories at an event in Abuja. Salamander Cafe has partnered with Farafina to host Igoni at a launch event-cum-book reading in their beautiful premises at 5 Bujumbura Street, off Libreville Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja. Yes, folks, we are coming to Abuja. On the 2nd November at 2pm. Hey. It is close enough to October to count.


All these events will be preceded by a preview of sorts. As the last post advertised, Igoni and Binyavanga will read together in Lagos on the 19th of October 2013. We all expect you to be there at Quintessence’s beautiful serene new premises at Parkview Estate (it is the first compound on the right at the estate gate) off Gerrard Road Ikoyi.


So there. This is our October. We know that you, all of you, friends and family of Farafina, will be with us all of the way. Come to these events; make them a success. There must be one happening near you.

And a few more things are planned for November. There is a rumour making the rounds in the office that Kachifo and Farafina plan to launch two new imprints. Once we confirm this gist, you will be the first to know. *wink wink*


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!