About the Author

Belinda Otas

Belinda Otas is a versatile journalist, writer, cultural critic and an independent blogger. She has a passionate interest in Africa: politics, social development, arts and culture, gender issues and the African diaspora. Currently working as a freelance journalist with various publications aimed at the international community – she has contributed to: Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC News Online, The Africa Report, Selamta, New African, Wings, Divascribe, Zam and Under The Influence magazines, Think Africa Press and This Is Africa, among others.

Nigeria’s Farafina Books: Publishing By Africans for Africans

In Feature Articles by Belinda Otas

• Established in 2004, Farafina Books has become one of Nigeria’s leading independent literary publishers. With 24 titles on its list — including the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — the company is leading a revolution in the movement to publish books by Africans for Africans. • Though Farafina continues to struggle against the limitations of publishing in Nigeria, notably poor …

Feeding the African Imagination: Nigeria’s Cassava Republic

In English Language by Belinda Otas

By Belinda Otas and Tolu Ogunlesi ABUJA: Nigeria may not be the ideal place to start a publishing company, but Bibi Bakare-Yusuf and Jeremy Weate were crazy enough to take a chance. In 2006 the husband-and-wife team founded Cassava Republic, a publishing house with the goal of “feeding the African imagination” through stories taken from contemporary African life. When they …

Chika Unigwe on the Streets of Antwerp

In Europe by Belinda Otas

By Belinda Otas TURNHOUT, BELGIUM: “I think what I hoped they would get from it is the same thing that I got from the girls; which was, basically, some of us can’t afford to have shame,” says Afro-Belgian author Chika Unigwe, whose second novel On Black Sisters’ Street, a chronicle of the lives of four African women (three Nigerian and a …

After 25 Years, Wasafiri Still Pushing Britain’s Literary Boundaries

In Feature Articles by Belinda Otas

By Belinda Otas LONDON: The Southbank is one of Europe’s largest arts centers and is celebrated worldwide for the diversity of its artistic programs. Similarly, a wide diversity of races, ethnicities and nationalities gathered in late October to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wasafiri, the acclaimed London-based magazine of contemporary international writing. Wasafiri is a Kiswahili word and translates as …