Africa Writes Presents: Saraba Magazine Launch

Africa Writes Presents: Saraba Magazine Launch
Monday 2 October 19:15 – 20:30,
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

Speakers: Emmanuel Iduma, Irenosen Okojie, Abiola Oni, Ayòbámi Adébáyò. Chair: Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed

Saraba is a literary magazine focused on the work of new writers in Nigeria and other parts of the African​ ​continent. Founded in 2009 by Nigerian​ ​undergraduates, Saraba has published several​ ​digital​ ​issues of a​ ​magazine, poetry chapbooks, and online-only work,​ ​becoming​ ​​an acclaimed literary magazine out of Africa​.​ ​The magazine aims to create unending voices by encouraging writers at the outset of their careers, and offers a reflection of the world, and how literature can speak to, about and for, basic human interaction.

Contributors include winners or shortlistees of acclaimed literary awards including the Caine Prize for African Writing, Bailey’s Women Prize for Fiction, Etisalat Prize for Literature, and NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature.

As the publication evolves from its online presence to one in physical form, this event marks the launch of Saraba’s first print issue TransitionsThe featured writers and visual artists explore the theme of ‘transitions’, through questions of time, movement, and sexual identity, among others. Join us to celebrate this special occasion and hear from the published writers and editors – Emmanuel Iduma, Irenosen Okojie, Abiola Oni and Ayòbámi Adébáyò in conversation with bookshy blogger Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed.

This is the London edition of a series of launch events, taking place in Lagos and Abeokuta, Nigeria, and New York City, Pittsburgh, and Winnipeg in the USA. Copies of the new Sarabaissue will be available to buy.

Tickets for this event are £8 / £5 concs, and free for RAS Members. 

Book tickets

Image: N65 by Aderemi Adegbite.

Speaker Bios

Emmanuel Iduma is the author of The Sound of Things to Come(first published as Farad in Nigeria). He co-edited Gambit: Newer African Writing. His essays on art and photography have been published widely. He is editor of Saraba Magazine, and a faculty member of the MFA Art Writing program at the School of Visual Arts, New York. A Stranger’s Pose, his book of travel stories, is forthcoming in 2018.

Irenosen Okojie is a writer and Arts Project Manager. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her work has been featured in The Observer,The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. Her short stories have been published internationally. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Ben Okri as a dynamic writing talent to watch and was featured in the Evening Standard Magazine as one of London’s exciting new authors. Her short story collection Speak Gigantular ,published by Jacaranda Books was shortlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize, the Jhalak Prize, the Saboteur Awards and nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. She is online at and @IrenosenOkojie

Abiola Oni is a Nigerian writer who lives in London. In 2016, she won the inaugural short story prize created by The Guardian and 4th Estate Books for black and minority ethnic (BAME) writers in the UK. Her stories have appeared in Jalada, Bakwa Magazine, Riposte and Somesuch Stories. She is currently working on her first novel. She tweets @AbbiOni

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and has worked as an editor for Saraba magazine since 2009. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. Ayobami has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-bow School of Arts, Ebedi Hills and Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Chair: Zahrah Nesbitt-Ahmed is a researcher, writer and blogger with extensive experience in gender, urbanisation and international development. She is currently a Technical Specialist on Women’s Economic Empowerment at Social Development Direct. Zahrah is also the founder and editor of bookshy – a labour of love dedicated to African literature – and the curator of ABC, a visual showcase of African Book Covers. She holds a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from University of Reading, an MSc in Urbanisation and Development and a PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies, both from LSE. She tweets @bookshybooks