Masobe Books is Brittle Paper’s Publishing House of the Year for their outstanding commitment to supporting authors and celebrating African books.
Masobe Books was founded in 2018 by Nigerian author Othuke Ominiabohs. Having experienced the difficulties of publishing as a first-time author, Ominiabohs set out to create an author-focused publishing company, which has grown into the impressive publishing house we know today. The word “Masobe” comes from the Isoko Language in the Niger Delta region of Nigerian and means “Let Us Read.” The spirit of this tagline is conveyed in the press’s mission “to encourage reading by making available to the public, great books by talented African authors who bring our stories to life.”
Masobe is devoted to amplifying and honoring their authors and their writing. While many publishers are yet to figure how to use social media to efficiently boost book publicity and increase author visibility, Masobe is fostering a rapidly growing online space where creatively-curated content on authors and their books are shared. Simply scrolling down Masobe’s Instagram feed, one can see the sheer amount of love and care they put into their writers. In a heartfelt post on December 5th, Masobe took to Instagram to thank their authors, calling then a part of the Masobe family, and celebrating their craft:
you are a collective of some of the very best scribes and yarn spinners of our time and your stories have touched thousands of souls…Your mastery of your craft leaves us craving for more – and we are in awe and very glad you believe in the Masobe mission.
Until recently, Masobe published mostly Nigerian authors. In a bid to make the scope of their influence pan-African, they will publish authors from other parts of the continent. Booker-longlisted novel An Island by South African author Karen Jennings is set for publication next year, as well as Kenyan author Troy Onyango’s debut collection.
In a world where publishing and distribution giants seem to dominate the publishing industry, Masobe Books and other Africa centered publishing spaces are important and necessary to the community. Running an indie press in a place like Nigeria where the cost of doing business is nightmarishly expensive can be challenging, but Masobe Books is surviving and thriving. They are an example we hope to see others follow!
Kudos to the Masobe team!