Read African Books

A (very) brief history of African publishing, from independence to the present

A (very) brief history of African publishing, from independence to the present

It may come as a surprise to some, but Africa has been producing the written word for thousands of years – from the indigenous scripts of Ancient Africa to the experimental digital press projects at the turn of this century. This blog, based on a longer article, attempts to give a very brief history of African publishing from the years following independence from European powers to today, showing that the written word – against many odds – continues to flow onto the latest reading formats.

Co-publishing with Africa North–South–North

Co-publishing with Africa North–South–North

The decolonization of African studies extends beyond content to ethical partnerships between the North and the African continent. One key component of realizing partnership is through publishing. In partnership with the International African Institute, and with the active support of the African Studies Associations of the UK and the US, work is proceeding with publishers in the North and the South to broker co-publishing or co-editions to address this historic marginalization of Africa.

The Colours of our Flag

The Colours of our Flag

This collection of poems by Allan Kolski Horwitz and illustrated by the painter James de Villiers was awarded the 2020 Olive Schreiner Award for poetry.

Botsotso

Botsotso

Botsotso, as a publishing house and platform for performance, was formed in 1996 by members of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group. “BOTSOTSO is independent and follows no specific political or aesthetic doctrine. The main criterion for publication of work is that it has integrity and worth as an expression of individual experience and of our society.”

Mdahalo Bridging Divides

Mdahalo Bridging Divides

Alice Wairimū Nderitū at Mdahalo Bridging Divides, Kenya talks with Stephanie Kitchen of the International African Institute, London about scholarly publishing in Kenya, women in publishing and about her path into the industry.  

Tanaka Chidora

Tanaka Chidora

Tanaka Chidora is a Zimbabwean poet, literary critic, and academic who teaches Creative Writing and Theories of Literature at the Department of English at the University of Zimbabwe. His poetry collection Because Sadness is Beautiful? is out now. Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, from Mwanaka Media and Publishing, interviews him on his life and writing.

African published books in the North

African published books in the North

This paper was prepared for the SCOLMA annual conference ‘Decolonising African Studies: questions and dilemmas for libraries, archives and held at the University of Edinburgh on 10 June 2019. The aim of the paper is to provide some insights into how books published in Africa are making their way to libraries with collections on Africa

Getting Published

Getting Published

Alice Wairimū Nderitū is an author, columnist (The EastAfrican) ethnic relations educator and mediator of armed conflict. Alice was named 2012 Woman Peace Maker of the Year by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego.

University of Namibia Press

University of Namibia Press

UNAM Press publishes works on topics related to Namibia and the Southern African region, reflecting the strengths of the University and the best scholarship in and on Namibia and the region. Published and forthcoming titles include studies of culture and languages; nation building and democracy; education; law; social and political history; autobiographies; the environment and sustainable development.

African publishing in the time of COVID-19

African publishing in the time of COVID-19

COVID-19’s spread around the world continues to have catastrophic effects, from lives lost to the economic consequences of lockdowns, bringing financial devastation to individuals and jeopardising even the most robust industries.

Five Nights Before the Summit

Five Nights Before the Summit

Although typified in some blurbs as crime fiction, Mukuka Chipanta’s second novel is so much more than that: it is also a well-crafted historical novel.

My Life, My Purpose

My Life, My Purpose

"My Life, My Purpose is the memoirs of Tanzania’s third president, Benjamin Mkapa. President Mkapa takes the reader on a journey from his childhood in rural Mtwara to post-presidential semi-retire­ment. He is not reluctant to offer opinions on a range of topics along the way. "

Drinking from the Cosmic Gourd –Jude Fokwang

Drinking from the Cosmic Gourd –Jude Fokwang

"Drinking from the Cosmic Gourd by Francis B. Nyamnjoh is a deeply infused treatise that aims to exorcise a hegemonic spell, occasioned by the ready-made epistemologies that have enthralled its consumers and reproducers in a dreamy state since the colonial age. "

Une jeune femme sur un bateau ivre

Une jeune femme sur un bateau ivre

Une Jeune Femme sur un Bateau Ivre : Agathe Uwilingiyimana du Rwanda is a poignant portrait by a loved one of a courageous, headstrong human being for whom “the word ‘abandonment’ was not part of her vocabulary”. She would go down with her “drunken boat.”

Mugabeism after Mugabe?

Mugabeism after Mugabe?

"Overall, the book examines various political, economic, social and healthcare issues from interdisciplinary perspectives that pose a challenge to the Second Republic in Zimbabwe. By adopting historical and social perspectives, the various contributors to this monumental work traversed the effects of Mugabe’s legacy on the Second Republic."

Publishing at the African Studies Association of Africa

Publishing at the African Studies Association of Africa

Divine Fuh and Stephanie Kitchen co-convened a plenary and two panels at the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) conference held in Nairobi in October 2019 on the topic of ‘Publishing in Africa and African studies: practices, challenges and futures’.

30 Years of providing visibility for African books in the global market place

30 Years of providing visibility for African books in the global market place

African Books Collective is an example of an African owned and governed organisation which has successfully transitioned from a donor dependent NGO to a self-sustaining and independent social enterprise.

Robert Berold, Deep South, South Africa

Robert Berold, Deep South, South Africa

Deep South was started in 1996 by Paul Wessels and Robert Berold [who took over as sole owner/publisher from 2004]. Our aim was to publish what we considered to be innovative and risk-taking South African poetry, regardless of market limitations. Innovation and depth continue to be the main criteria in the decisions to publish.

Abdul Kabir Hussain Solihu, Kwara State University Press, Nigeria

Abdul Kabir Hussain Solihu, Kwara State University Press, Nigeria

Who the Africans are and what they stand for must not be left for outsiders to tell. We want the African authors to tell their own narratives and interpret their own history in a way that would be appreciated by non-Africans. While doing so, they would be able to identify the Africans’ collective intelligence, creative ideas and aspirations.

- Professor Abdul Kabir Hussain Solihu, Kwara State University Press.

Colleen Higgs, Modjaji Books, South Africa

Colleen Higgs, Modjaji Books, South Africa

Modjaji Books was started in 2007 by Colleen Higgs, it is an independent press that publishes the writings of Southern African women. Colleen talks to Stephanie Kitchen about running an independent feminist press in South Africa.

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