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Africa's Bookstagrammers are Carving Out a Space for the Continent's Authors

Growing communities of social media users, spread all over the continent, are evolving into a major powerhouse for African literature.

As Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams’ hit song, ‘Water’ plays overhead, Nokukhanya Ntsaluba sits in front of a bookshelf at her home in South Africa, red lipstick highlighting her luminous smile, as she holds up, in quick succession, five of her favorite books by African writers.

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Image courtesy of Aké Festival.

What Happens When Nigeria’s Vibrant Lit Scene Moves Online?

While local book sales are up, Nigeria's literary festivals are finding online solutions in the age of coronavirus

When the coronavirus that has now claimed almost four hundred thousand lives began to ravage the world, Lola Shoneyin had cause to worry. Shoneyin is the founder of Aké Festival, a four-day celebration of arts and culture, literacy and education that has been held every year in Nigeria since 2013 and the pandemic put this year's festival plans in grave danger.

"As soon as the world became more aware and it was clearer how infectious the virus was, there was anxiety over whether or not the festival was going to take place," Shoneyin told OkayAfrica.

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