There was a blurry of activity in Kenya’s capital city as the Nairobi International Book Fair 2016 was hosted at the Sarit Centre from 21-25 September 2016. Also happening was the Wahome Mutahi Literary prize 2016 on the Saturday evening.
The Nairobi International Book Fair 2016 is the longest running book fairs in the Horn of Africa region having run for the last nineteen years nonstop. The event is the showcase event of the Kenya Publishers Association which is the body that brings together those who run the publishing industry in Kenya.
This event has been designed as a trade fair for the publishers in the country and further afield justifying its existence for industry practitioners. Also a big part of the fair are the kids as they are the main target of the Kenyan publishing industry. Those looking out for events with authors with panels and all that fancy stuff will be saddened as they are not the focus really; this one is really for the kids and the publishers.
Like anything that you know is a serious event the festival kicked off with kids and adults doing a book walk from the Kenya National Services to the Sarit Centre an activity that was led by a marching band. Check out the people heading out to the Sarit below.
There were also activities away from the book fair like a visit to a children’s home in Children’s Garden Home, Uthiru where goodies, including books, were dished out followed by the visitors pulling out cellphones and sharing on their social media fora their kindness to the less fortunate. Check out some of the fun that was seen at this space below.
A book fair is of course about books and everything around the written word that we love so much. Educational focused publishers constituted a large part of those exhibiting and they must have made a killing as many kids attended the fair. The children, many who came with school tours, got to see many books that they could enjoy in school as well as for pleasure. Every single publisher’s catalogue I went home with was for readers in schools from ECD (Early Childhood Development) to Secondary school level. Even our good friend Kinyanjui Kombani was not left out on the kids love in as he showed copies of his latest offering in the market, a shortened version of the Kenya Year Book aimed at young readers.
The adults weren’t left out either as there was a limited number of titles that that they could pick up at unbelievable prices. Take for instance the Moran Publishers who had stocked many of the Pacesetters series that we loved so much in the 1980s. I learnt that most of these books could still be bought if you contacted the good people at Moran. Also holding the fiction fort were the good folks at Kwani Trust with long serving distribution guy Mike holding fort with his team.
One of the most interesting exhibitors for this blogger was Snapplify a website which is committed to helping you the publisher selling your content. If you have content that you want to sell then you look for them to help you distribute your content and you get 70% of the revenues and they get the rest. Check them out here.
So that is the main overview of the book fair that ended on Sunday. Below are a few images from the events that I captured on my trusty cellphone.