The Nairobi Book Love podcast is a gem for readers looking to learn more about their favorite Kenyan writers and the moments that inspired their writing.
Founded by Kui Kabala in 2020, the Nairobi Book Love podcast is “all about books and all things bookish from a Nairobi-centric view.” The podcast includes reviews of books and interviews with writers. Kabala’s aim is to create a community of book lovers within Nairobi, Kenya.
Kabala works in radio and communication. She hosts The World Groove Show on Capital FM as well as a lifestyle show on television, KTN Midmorning.
Here are highlights from some of the podcast episodes featuring Kenyan writers. Please go here to see the full list of interviews and immerse yourself in the powerful stories created by Kenya’s best.
Shiko Nguru, Kenyan author and content creator, talks about “fantasy, Kenyan mythology and the power of representation” in her debut novel Mwikali and the Forbidden Mask, which “takes young (and older!) readers on an incredible ride, celebrating and giving life to our stories.” Listen.
Ciku Kimeria, Senegal-based MIT business graduate, talks about “her latest novel Dance of the Monkeys, a testament to her love of all things Agatha Christie”, along with how she found her true calling based on writing experiences over the past few years. Listen.
Kinyanjui Kombani, Kenyan novelist, discusses writing about pain in his debut novel The Last Villains of Molo, which was “so raw that when he first wrote it, no publisher was willing to touch it, feeling that Kenyans were not ready to confront the horrors of Molo in 1992.” Listen.
Joan Thatiah, award-winning Kenyan writer, talks about the immense struggles of getting published in Kenya – “When Joan started writing over five years ago, publishers told her they didn’t think she had anything worthwhile to say, so she self published. Book stores then told her they had already reached their quota for Kenyan books and would not be able to carry her titles, so she went to the street vendors. 5 years and 5 books later, Joan is one of the most popular authors in the country, has won a writing prize and managed to snag a publisher.” Listen.
Wanjiru Koinange, Kenyan author, publisher and library restorer, “discusses her debut novel The Havoc of Choice, set before, during and immediately after Kenya’s historic 2007 national election. Love, hate, family, politics and what it takes to write a book that lays bare our deepest, darkest secrets.” Listen.
The podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, and more. Go here to listen to all episodes of the podcast.