African novelists are hip to changing trends.
We saw how Teju Cole conquered Twitter. Lately, I’ve been hearing about the wonderful things Lauren Beukes is doing with DC Comics. And if you’ve not head about Adichie’s fashion collaboration with Vogue UK, you’re clearly living under a rock.
So it’s no surprise that, for some African writers, Instagram has become a favored platform for sharing their lives with fans.
If you’re looking to expand your social media experience to include African literary celebrities, I suggest you follow the Instagram profiles of Taiye Selasi, Chris Abani, Teju Cole, and Lauren Beukes.
Perhaps I should set your expectations right. These novelists do not really to share very intimate aspects of their lives. So, no you won’t be seeing “belfies,” “eggplants,” after-sex photos, or shopping sprees.
They use instagram mainly to express a well-rounded view of their creative lives, which may or may not include private moments with friends and family.
Taiye Selasi: For her Instagram handle, she chose the name of her debut novel, so you’ll find her at @ghanamustgo. Selasi is a novelist, but she is also a model and a photographer among many, many other things. Her Instagram page presents a well-rounded picture of her life and work as a creative individual. In addition to her photographic work, she shares aspects of her person life—vacations, dinners with friends and family, and colleagues.
Chris Abani: Most successful writers live itinerant lives. They’re always on the go. Book tours, reading engagements, festivals, and writer’s residences translate into a rich experience of space and place. Chris Abani’s Instagram page is, in some sense, a homage to this life. Today, he’s in upstate New York. Tomorrow, he’s in Geneva—all of which is documented in photographs posted on the Instagram handle, @chrisabani. Thought you should know that Abani had a pretty epic Instagram moment last year when he shared photos of himself getting new tattoos.
Teju Cole: his Instagram handle is @_tejucole, not to be mistaken with “@tejucole.” Teju has always been open about his other life as a photographer. But with Instagram, he seems to be more interested in the video component of the platform. recently, he’s shared various moments of his trip to Sao Paolo with short videos that captured everything from hotel rooms to street views to restaurants.
Lauren Beukes: she is Africa’s “darling of speculative fiction.” When we are not riveted by her blockbuster crime thrillers, we are chuckling at her sassy tweets. It’s nice to follower her about town in her Instagram page—@laurenbeukes0—where she posts everything from trips to Haiti to cute family moments with her hubby and their lovely 6-year old daughter.