The Heroe Book Fair was hosted at the Close The Gap Hub in Ratna Square, Mombasa, Kenya from May 5-7, 2022. The festival theme was “Emancipation.”
Heroe Book Fair is a Pan-African literary event bringing together Anglophone, Francophone, and German speaking writers, poets, publishers, and literary enthusiasts to celebrate their literary works and achievements in Mombasa, Kenya. The first edition of the festival founded by writer and children’s book author Lorna Likiza ran in 2021.
The festival for 2022 included panels, workshops, readings of poetry and prose, book launches and signings, chats, and loads more. There were book launches like the Amani Series by Wambui Mathenge, Quoi Encore? By Par Patrick Byiringiro Uwimpuhwe, Njinga of Ndongo Matamba by Ekiuwa Aire, and The Journals of He: The Beginning by J.D. Kizza. The book readings included My Little Yellow Book by Sakina Taki, It Is What It Is by Bene Lu, Echoes of the Mountains by Pindiwe Mgijima-Mabhena, and Rosina Sedibane Modiba: A Dream Denied by Lorato Trok.
The panel discussions included “State of Children and YA Literature in Africa” with Dr Xolisa Guzula and Okenna Nzelu, “L’avenir Des Traductions Dans La Littérature Francophone” (The Future of Translations in Francophone Literature) with Fiston Mudacumura and Mediatrice Mujawamariya. The panel “The usage of Kiswahili in East African Literature” had Ally Abdallah Baharoon, and Georgina Makini as panellists while “Addressing The Issue Of Gatekeeping In African And Black Publishing” had Kadija George and Nyiko Mthembi with Sandra Tamele as moderator. The session “It Tolls For Thee: The Frere People & the Historic Kengeleni Bell” was conducted by Albert Mwamburi.
For younger Mombasa residents, there were two sessions of interest with one conducted by Paukwa and a Children Comic Books Workshop by Eliot Handeheede and Julia Reynaud facilitated by the Belgian Embassy in Kenya.
For those who missed out, the fair streamed live on YouTube. Here are the sessions that happened starting with recaps of each of the days followed by the unedited sessions;
Full (unedited) sessions