From Nai, Jozi, to Lagos

My literary journey in 3 countries

Nairobi has been my home for the past eight years and it still stings a bit to have had to say goodbye. I hope to go back soon, to see friends who became family, to take my kids back to their country of birth and for the books! Yes, for the books. Why? Because they’re more affordable in Kenya than in SA. And the admin of online purchases was easier there.

So, I got to Jozi and stayed for six months. I got a few books from four different stores, and ended up leaving a few because my suitcases were already overweight. Here are some of the titles I got from Exclusive Books, Bargain Books, Modjaji Books, CNA, Jacana Media and a small bookstore (can’t remember the name) in Randburg:

They were more than double this, including a volume of The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Tough choices had to be made.

Oh, and Welcome to Lagos was bought when I made a stop in Kenya for a few days. Yes, I had to go back. My best purchase here was The Marabi Dance by Modikwe Dikobe because these books are so hard to find and are absolutely worth collecting. I’ve just finished reading it and a short review will follow.

Now I’m finally in Lagos, Nigeria. I am still settling in, finding my way around what Toni Kan calls The Carnivorous City. It’s quite an adjustment to make, especially with kids, but I have a feeling I’m going to like this place and borrowing from Binyavanga, maybe “One day I will write about this place.

I haven’t found a bookstore yet, and while I am still searching let me find a reading spot. Check out my next post.

Cheers, Neighbour!

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