African Literature in London could be described as having had a snow ball effect, especially during the past few years as events, festivals and platforms dedicated to the exploration and promotion of African Literature spring up in rebellious unison, pushing against an existing eurocentric narrative.

Familiar drivers spearheading this constantly expanding and inspirational force include Afrikult. and Africa Writes, both spaces where African Literature is given new life to be shared and distributed to a new generation of avid readers keen to hold hands with their heritage.unnamed

What’s On Africa is excited to feature Cassava Republic Press’ London Launch throughout the majority of April. If you’re yet to hear the name “Cassava Republic” on the lips of an excited reader of African Literature, it is important to know the platform aims to “change the way the world thinks about African writing”. Founder Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and her team are bringing a whirlwind of literary talent to British shores in order to diversify the way the world engages with thought through storytelling.

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, now based in London, said the move announces “the birthing of African publishing onto the world stage”. These confident words belong to tenacious woman, consultant and publisher previously based in Abuja, Nigeria. Bibi has executive-level experience as a consultant in public, private and development sectors and was selected as a Yale World Fellow in 2016 from a group of thousands of applicants. Bakare-Yusuf is joined in London by Emma Shercliff, formerly M.D. of Macmillan English Campus and head of export sales at Hodder Education, who brings a “truly international and cross-cultural dynamic” to Cassava.

The city of Abuja is home to Cassava Republic and a browse on their website will present a varied selection of literary fiction, crime, young adult fiction, children’s books, and romantic fiction under the Ankara Press imprint.

The publisher’s list features Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday, a exploration into the untold areas of friendship, love, trauma and politics in northern Nigerian history, Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, narrating themes of ageing, friendship and loss. Venturing further into Cassava’s archives you’ll find nail-biting crime novels such as Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle and The Lazurus Effect by H.J. Golokai. Titles including Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle (Cassava Crime) and Princess Arabella’s Birthday and Princess Arabella Mixes Colours by Mylo Freeman (picture books) were released on April 1st.Mylo Freeman Events

These titles and more are extremely exciting for any reader educated within the British school system. They will recognise the familiar instances of English Literature classes failing to represent the abundance of literary works extending past European borders. It is also a great platform for anyone interested in discovering, re-discovering and researching African Literature.

The Cassava Republic launch brings with it a variety of events in different venues across the city, providing Londoners both young and old with plenty of opportunity to engage with the platform, it’s team and the individuals who use their pens as wands to create magic for the reader’s imagination.

Throughout the month, in partnership with Cassava Republic, What’s On Africa will be featuring CRP themed content, profiling authors, audio readings and reviews on what’s certain to be a game – changing set of events within and beyond the publishing world.

Don’t miss it!

Up and coming events:

April:

1. Name of Event: Meet Mylo Freeman and Princess Arabella

Authors: Mylo Freeman

Date: Friday 8th April

Time: 11am-12pm

Location: The Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop, 2A Church Court, Richmond TW9 1JL

Authors: Mylo Freeman

Information and Tickets 

 

2. Name of Event: Storytime with Mylo Freeman

Authors: Mylo Freeman

Date: Friday 8th April

Time: 2-3pm

Location: Peckham Library, 122 Peckham Hill Street, London, SE15 5JR

Authors: Mylo Freeman

Event Description:  Author Storytime and colouring session

 

Information and Tickets 

 

3. Name of Event: An Evening of New Nigerian Writing in Association with Cassava Republic Press

Authors: Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Elnathan John and Leye Adenle

Date: Friday 8th April

Time: 7-8:30pm

Location: Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8SW

Event Description:  Hear the authors read from their work and discuss the challenges and opportunities facing writers in Nigeria and across the African continent.

Information and Tickets

 

4. Name of Event: Mylo Freeman Pop Up Event

Authors: Mylo Freeman

Date: Saturday 9th April

Time: 11am-12pm

Location: INK@84 Bookshop, 84 Highbury Park, N5 2XE

Event Description:  Pop Up Session with Mylo Freeman- reading from Princess Arabella, talking to customers and signing

 

5. Name of Event: Storytime with Mylo Freeman

Authors: Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Elnathan John and Leye Adenle

Date: Saturday 9th April

Time: 3-4pm

Location: Mitcham Library, 157 London Road, Mitcham CR4 2YR

Event Description:  Author Storytime and colouring session

 

6. Name of Event: The Cassava Republic Press Salon with Leye Adenle, Elnathan John and Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Authors: Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Elnathan John and Leye Adenle

Date: Monday 11th April

Time: 7-8:30pm

Location: Waterstones Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HD

Authors: Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Elnathan John and Leye Adenle

Event Description:  Celebrating their arrival in the UK, Waterstones Piccadilly is thrilled to welcome leading African publishers Cassava Republic Press for an evening of conversation and readings with three of their most powerful authors. Join the authors and Cassava Republic Press for a scintillating night of brilliant new fiction!

Information and Tickets

 

7. Name of Event: Sarah Ladipo Manyika in conversation with Sarah Winman. Chaired by Funmi Iyanda (TBC)

Authors: Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Date: Wednesday 13th April

Time: TBC

Location: Books & Kitchen Bookshop, 31 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 1HE

Event Description:  Discussing Sarah Ladpo Manyika’s novel ‘Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun’

Information and Tickets 
May:

8. Name of Event: London Radical Bookfair

Date: Saturday 7th May

Time: 12-6pm

Location: Goldsmiths University, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

Event Description:  Cassava Republic Press will be selling books

Information and Tickets

 

unnamed-2Cassava Republic’s mission is to change the way we all think about African writing.  Cassava Republic is dedicated to  building a new body of African writing that links writers across different times and spaces. Find out more on their website.

 

 

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