The Nairobi International Book Fair 2019 was hosted at the Sarit Centre, Nairobi from September 25-29, 2019.
The Nairobi International Book Fair, organised by the Kenyan Publishers Association, has been running since 1996. The fair this year moved from one section of its traditional home at the Sarit Centre to a new fancier area in the same gargantuan mall. Here are some of the highlights from the book fair that happened in the East African country’s capital.
The book fair officially kicked off on September 26 at the Sarit with speeches from, among others, Mary Maina the chairman of the Nairobi International Book Fair, Musyoka Muli who is in charge of the Text Book Centre Jomo Kenyatta Literary Prize 2019, Mr Kamotho on behalf of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Armand Houahu the Text Book Centre managing director, and Lawrence Njagi the Kenya Publishers Association chairman. The keynote address was delivered by the guest of honour Egyptian Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem. Read more about it here.
Text Book Centre Jomo Kenyatta Awards for Literature
The Nairobi International Book Fair 2019 ends every year with a closing ceremony that includes the handing out of awards for literature for the last year as well as for those who had stands. Read more about it here.
African Writers Conference 2019
The Nairobi International Book Fair has always been an affair where publishers interact directly with their customers. Events featuring writers are usually very few where organisers are concerned which has always been very weird for this blogger. This year, they filled the writers’ gap by hosting the second edition of the African Writers Conference 2019. The conference brought together writers from fourteen countries under the theme “Cultural stereotypes in African Literature: Rewriting the narratives for the 21st Century Reader.” The event also had the announcement of winners of the African Writers Awards. Read more about it here.
Stands at the book fair
The core business of this book fair is for publishers and other interested parties to meet with potential customers for their products. This year, there were 70 local and 15 international exhibitors showcasing their work among them publishers, printers, government departments, embassies, and a host of other institutions.
Over the four days of the fair, Nairobians of all ages congregated at the stands of exhibitors new and old like Mountain Top Publishers, Big Books Publishers, One Planet Publishers, Moran Publishers, Pearson, Longhorn Publishers, and others. Then there were other stands like Text Book Centre, eKitabu, and popular broadcaster’s Swaleh Mdoe’s stand. The international exhibitors included the Agence Internationale du Livre pour L’Education from Mayotte which won best international stand, the Egyptian pavillion, and more.
Here are images of some of the book stands from the fair.