The 254 Kitabu Fest was hosted in venues at the Text Book Centre around Nairobi over the month of September.
The Text Book Centre was founded as a partnership between businessmen S V Shah and M J Rughani in Nairobi in 1964. It specialised in selling to parents who needed educational materials like school books, stationery, and other products. From one store, it has gone on to become East and Central Africa’s largest educational, cultural, technological content and products distributor. It has eleven branches at Kijabe Street, Sarit Centre, the Galleria Mall, the Garden City Mall, The Junction Mall, The Hub, Thika Road Mall, Two Rivers Mall, Village Market, Kenyatta Avenue, and Imaara Branch.
The chain has always been the home of African writing but in the last few years, they have upped their game stocking fiction and nonfiction while they host book launches and signings of some of the leading names in the game. In September, they hosted The 254 Kitabu Fest which consisted of events such as book signings, parent-child readings, and launches in branches.
One of the events was the master class with Larry Liza at the Sarit Centre on Friday, September 15, 2023. The next day a parent-child reading club was moderated by Wambui Mathenge. On September 22, there was the launch of Dr Gladys Kalema’s Walking with Gorillas at the Sarit Centre. Then there was the “Celebration of Kenyan Voices” event with self-published writers moderated by James Murua at the Sarit Centre Branch on Friday, September 29, 2023. The writers featured were Ciku Kimeria, Meshack Ndirangu, Joah Thatiah, Larry Liza, Ian Dennis, and Deborah Ouko.
The events ended with readings and other activities for kids with Wangari The Storyteller at the Text Book Centre at the Village Market on Saturday, September 30, 2023. That day also had book signings/ meet and greets with John Kiriamiti and Joan Thatiah at the same venue.
Here are images from events over the month courtesy of Text Book Centre.
September 15: Authors Forum with Larry Liza
September 22: Book Launch: Dr Gladys Kalema’s Walking with Gorillas
September 29: Celebration of Kenyan Voices
September 30: Readings and signings