Muthoni Muiruri and Wendy Njoroge

Soma Nami’s second branch opens in Nairobi.

Kenyan bookstore Soma Nami opened its second branch in Ngara, Nairobi on the weekend of June 7 – 9, 2024.

Despite trying times in Kenya’s economy, the book-selling business continued in leaps and bounds in 2024. Half Price Books which already has branches in the Village Market Mall, one in the Central Business District, and Lavington Mall opened a brand spanking new outlet in Crossroads Mall in Karen. The Nuria Store also moved from the eleventh floor of the Bazaar in the Central Business District to the first floor in a larger space.

Kenyan bookstore Soma Nami (English: Read with me) followed local trends as they opened their second branch over the weekend. Founded by Muthoni Muiruri and Wendy Njoroge in 2021, it became a hub of literary activity in the city with readings and other book activations many of them gratis. They expanded their activities to set up the African Book Fair and revealed Soma Nami Press where they planned on publishing some of the best talent coming out of the East African country.

The newest branch in Coricom Building, Ngara continues in the Soma Nami tradition with a wide-open colourful space, many books, and beautiful décor. They also have the “wall of honour” with paintings of beloved people in the African and Black world like Abdulrazak Gurnah, James Baldwin, Binyavanga Wainaina, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Maya Angelou, Wangari Maathai, Lola Shoneyin, Tupac Shakur, Eliud Kipchoge, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Thomas Sankara.

The new space was ushered into the Nairobi literary community with many activities this past weekend. They included storytelling, readings of poetry and prose, and book signings by Joan Thatiah, Peter Ngila, Michael Onsando, and Wangari The Storyteller.

Here are some images from the new venue.

The new Soma Nami Ngara
The new Soma Nami Ngara
Muthoni Muiruri and Wendy Njoroge open the newest branch of Soma Nami
Muthoni Muiruri and Wendy Njoroge open the newest branch of Soma Nami
Soma Nami Ngara's Wall of Honour
Soma Nami Ngara’s Wall of Honour
Soma Nami  Ngara bookshelf
Soma Nami Ngara bookshelf

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