Nairobi-based bookstore Soma Nami Books has just suffered a targeted cyber attack on their website on Tuesday, March 26. Our thoughts are with the Soma Nami team as they work on recovering from the attack.

Soma Nami Books was founded by Muthoni Muiruri and Wendy Njoroge in 2021 as a woman-owned and Pan-African literary hub dedicated to the power of literature and the striving for knowledge. It is a book haven for all readers near and far, and won Brittle Paper‘s 2021 Literary Platform of the Year.

It is extremely sad to see that such a thriving African bookstore was the target of a malicious cyber attack. The attackers left a veiled threat on the website, spouting rhetoric about Anti-semitism. See the photo below.

According to the Soma Nami team, this attack represents “not only a breach of digital security but also a direct assault on the fundamental freedoms of expression, creativity and information.” We stand with Soma Nami books as they work on recovery, both digitally and politically in a global climate that is filled with censorship and suppression.

Read the full press statement from Soma Nami below.


Dear Valued Readers, Authors, and Supporters,

It is with great regret that we inform you of a recent targeted cyber attack on the website of Soma Nami Books, on Tuesday, 26th March 2024.

Founded in 2021, Soma Nami Books is a woman-owned and run Pan-African bookstore and literary hub based in Nairobi, Kenya, offering a vast and diverse selection of books to readers across East Africa. Soma Nami Books has been at the forefront of democratizing access to knowledge and information and is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and promoting the power of literature.

This attack represents not only a breach of digital security but also a direct assault on the fundamental freedoms of expression, creativity and information.

Soma Nami Books has long served as a beacon for readers and writers alike, providing a space where diverse voices can be heard and celebrated. Our commitment to encouraging critical thinking, and championing the written word remains unwavering, despite this setback.

This incident serves as a timely reminder of the importance of protecting books and ideas in an increasingly digital world. Books have the power to enlighten, inspire, and challenge us. They are essential vehicles for the transmission of knowledge and the preservation of culture. Yet, they are also vulnerable to censorship and suppression, whether through physical means or digital attacks.

We are actively working to restore the Soma Nami Books website and strengthen our cybersecurity measures to prevent future attacks. The matter has also been reported to the relevant authorities for investigation. As a precautionary measure, and as investigations into this incident are carried out by relevant authorities, Soma Nami Books has taken the decision to take the services that were available online on the website, offline.

In the meantime, readers can still purchase books in-person at our store at The Greenhouse Mall, Ground floor, through phone/WhatsApp on 0705 548 052 or via our social media platforms below:

Instagram – @somanami_ke, X (Formerly Twitter) – Soma Nami Books, Facebook – Soma Nami Books

Together, let us reaffirm our commitment to the power of books and the enduring importance of free expression.

Thank you for your continued support.