The Nairobi International Book Fair 2018 happened at the Sarit Centre, Nairobi from September 26-30, 2018. The fair which was in its 21st edition had the theme “books for nurturing skills.”
It’s been going on for a very long time as last year the team organising the Nairobi International Book Fair celebrated its 20th anniversary. This year it was no different as folks would converge on the Sarit Centre in Nairobi for what is without a doubt the biggest trade fair for the publishing industry in the region.
The activities begun with an opening ceremony at the event venue with Raila Odinga the Kenyan immediate former Prime Minister attending and giving his words of wisdom. At this event we would learn that Kenya would be hosting the International Publishers Association Congress 2019 from the Kenya Publishers Association Chairman Lawrence Njagi.
With the fair officially open, book lovers of all ages were see milling around the dozens of stands to peruse the books on offer at very good discounts. It was the rare occasion one could find people like Longhorn Publishers, Kenya Literature Bureau, East African Educational Publishers, Mountain Top Publishers, Moran Publishers, Oxford University Press, Phoenix Publishers, and many more show off their good stuff at the same venue.
The halls at the venue for the next few days were filled with the sounds of activity as children in uniform in groups would walk around and get enthralled by what was happening. We don’t know how they were doing it but Kasuku the stationery brand would convince kids to yell “Kasuku!” and be in their videos. I wish I had that skill.
One of the regular exhibitors who was missing was Kwani Trust who is known for having a very large stand at this event. Their usual space was taken up by a Christian type organisation.
Here is an excellent video from @shescribbles, I’ve subscribed to her YouTube channel, which gives you a feel of how the stands at the fair looked.
Apart from the stands, there were a few activities like the launch of Finding Colombia the award winning Young Adult title by Kinyanjui Kombani. Apart from the events, readers could interact with their favourite writers like Muthoni Likimani, John Kiriamiti, Wallah Bin Wallah, and many more.
After the events were done, there was a closing ceremony at the Pride Inn Hotel in Westlands where the industry players would dine and reflect on a well-attended fair. That event had Mount Kenya University Founder and Chairman Dr Simon Gicharu as its guest of honour.
Below are some images from the fair courtesy of the publishing association Facebook page.