Book Fair gateThe Sarit Centre in Nairobi was a bustle of activity last week as Nairobi International Book 2015 the biggest literary show around rolled into town from 23rd to 27th September.

Unlike the Storymoja Festival which happened earlier in the month that focused on writers and their ilk this one was a showcase the Kenyan publishing industry has supported with it to the hilt. This is more like a trade fair for books where publishers showcase their latest titles many of which focused on the next generation of readers. Thus you found many of the stands were very child focused with treats both nutritional (reads sweets or candies depending on your language leanings) and mental. The stands are filled with children’s books both for school and for leisure. The adults weren’t left out on the fun and there were a few publishers who were very keen on their patronage.

Also here at the festival were those people who supplied the publishing industry like printers and the like. The full list of exhibitors who were 56 in total included;

1. Kenyatta University Bookshop

2. Longhorn (K) Publishers

3. Mvule Publishers

4. American Reference Centre

5. Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis

6. Xact Studio International

7. International Bible Students

8. China Stand

9. Queenex Publishers

10. Marimba Publishers

11. Top Performers Ltd

12. Fountain Publishers Ltd

13. Bookmark Africa Ltd

14. Oxford University Press

15. Scholastica Publishers

16. WordAlive Publishers Ltd

17. East African Educational Publishers

18. Kizuki Education Ltd

19. Moi University Press

20. University of Nairobi Press

21. BIBLICA Kenya

22. Spotlight Publishers

23. Care Association and Suzier Publishers

24. Focus Publishers

25. Moran (EA) Publishers

26. Kwani Trust

27. CLC – Christian Booklink (K) Ltd

28. Vide Muwa Publishers

29. Big Books Ltd.

30. Phoenix Publishers

31. Kenya Literature Bureau

32. Evangel Publishing House

33. Laxmi Bookshop

34. Cambridge University Press

35. The Institute of Kiswahili Studies – IKS

36. Manipal Group

37. Text Book Centre Ltd

38. The Jomo Kenyatta Foundation

39. Mountain Top Publishers

40. Spear Sharp Ltd

41. Gabby Books K Ltd

42. Mentor Publishers Ltd

43. Nsemia Publishers

44. Kenya Year Book

45. Alexander Barhardt Publishing Co. Ltd

46. National Book Development Council

47. Universal Offset

48. New Age International

49. CODESRIA

50. Suba Books & Periodicals

51. Kids Learning Centre

52. Success for Africa/Tamika

53. Ekitabu

54. International Print-O-Pac Ltd

55. KU Press

56. Grail Movement Foundation Kenyatta

57. Kenya Publishers Association

58. Quarter Fold Printables – India

59. Strathmore University Press

Dr Henry Chakava of EAEP

Dr Henry Chakava of EAEP

Apart from the exhibitions which were filled to the brim mainly with school children there were other activities. The publishing industry deals with literature so there were two prize nights with the Burt Awards which went to Chris Okemwa on Friday night and the Jomo Kenyatta Prize which went to many on Saturday.

Apart from the award nights the fair which had a large number of famous guests included book launches and debates on literature in Kenya. There was also a special panel where East African Educational Publishers (EAEP) celebrated their 50th year. EAEP as you know are Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s Kenyan publishers.

All in all it was a well attended event with the people at the guts of the Kenyan publishing industry.