Nigerian publisher Ankara Press has embarked on promoting African romance and fiction in its latest publications.
The love stories narrate tales of independent African women falling in love with men in cities across Africa.
The series is aimed at competing with popular western novels on romance.
“I wanted an imprint that would focus on the reality or the realities of the African women on the continent and African men and allows us to re-imagine African masculinity in a different light. Those were the kinds of things that inspired setting it up,” Bakar-Yusuf, founder of Ankara Press said.
Some authors who work with Ankara press think it is time to make known African tales to the world.
“I think we have evolved because now we are writing our own African stories, we feel more connected with it. Mills and Boon is of course western, the western phase of love that sometimes they use imagination and all. Sometimes you find out that its kind of very different from the romance we experience in Africa,” Amara Nicole Okolo, young lawyer and author of “Black Sparkles Romance” said.
The tales are becoming popular among Africans who can now identity themselves in the various characters.
“In a very local sense I am able to connect with the places these characters are located, as well as share in their challenges and troubles. They have a way of relating with every reader,” Felix Nyikwagh, a literature student said.
The Ankara press group has kept the initiative moving despite operational difficulties faced by the promoters.
“Because we print abroad and we are really committed to really good quality printing that the fluctuation in the exchange rate is a bother. The potential for piracy is a problem but nonetheless we really feel that it’s a good time to publish, there is never a bad time or a good time to publish,” Akare Yusuf, founder of Ankara Press.
Ankara Press opened in December 2014 as a digital company. The promoters later decided to start publishing hard copies so as to satisfy the demand of their customers.