Cameroonian author Nana Nkweti’s debut book Walking On Cowrie Shells is still hot off the press and is raking in rave reviews, including one on Brittle Paper and a New York Times feature. Her success is undeniable, but she is also dressing the part. She’s been sharing photos titled “Book Tour Lewks” on her Instagram timeline. These photos, featuring hairdos, beautiful make up, and stunning nail designs, caught our eyes, so we asked her to tell us more about the photo series and the inspiration behind her personal style. Read on because you would want to find out how she gets those killer nails!

The debut of Walking on Cowrie Shells has blessed me with much-needed moments of joy in these uncertain times. My Book Tour Lewks are a chance for me to revel in the occasion, to celebrate years of hard work. Like the rest of the world, for months I’ve been hermetically sealed in a pandemic pod and privileging the comfort of Snuggies and soft tees. Now, I relish getting gussied up for my virtual events – picking ‘fits and playing with new hair and makeup.

My personal style, much like my writing, is an eclectic mix of colors and textures with maximalist motifs. I’m an African woman so I go big! You’ll see blazers with bold brush strokes, braided Princess Leia buns with cowrie shell hair baubles, and bling galore. The bespoke nails are designed and handcrafted by my sister, Numbisi, proprietress of NawettiNails. They’ve been my talismans, part of an ongoing tradition of creations she has gifted me for job interviews, literary award ceremonies, and now for my book launch. We’re sharing the love and selling the custom WOCS set in her online boutique along with these other beauties – one Toghu cloth-inspired and one WRITER initial set – that I’ll gleefully be sporting at upcoming events.