Kenyan bookstore Soma Nami Books visited the UAE for the 3rd Sharjah International Booksellers Conference. This is huge news as Soma Nami directors were the only Kenyans invited to participate in this conference.

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.

The Sharjah International Booksellers Conference was held from April 27–28 and major booksellers and literary experts from across the globe convened to discuss the latest trends revolving around books and bookselling. This conference in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates was a significant event in raising the bar for book-selling in Kenya to meet international standards.

As the only Kenyans invited to participate in this conference, it affirms the work that Soma Nami Books is currently doing in Kenya and East Africa to nurture and build reading communities with the help of social media and digital technologies.

Muthoni Muiruri remarked on her Instagram that she has had a fantastic time at the Booksellers Conference, meeting up with so many booksellers from across the globe, and hopes to come again next year:

What a great gathering of minds! Of people committed to a similar cause and goal – to get books into as many hands as possible the world over! This photo (slide 3) represents the people who, through their bookstores are doing the lords work – from Nepal to Kenya to UK to US to UAE, to Mauritania….

Being among this fantastic group has been the highlight of my book advocacy efforts. Learning from the best to ever do it, getting new ideas, reflecting on what has worked, what hasn’t and what I can do better. Sharing challenges and feeling like we’re in this together has been such an inspiring and rewarding experience. I’ve met sooo many people from literally every corner of the world…it’s funny this thing called books right?

I was happy to share my experience and my origin story of growing from being a book reviewer/blogger, a bookstagrammer and a champion for African literature to founding with @iwanderandread Kenya’s most literary forward pan-African literary hub @somanami_ke . Our hopes and dreams for Soma Nami @somanami_ke and the power of community to elevate, to support and to build together those things we deeply believe in.

See the photos and videos below:


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