5 African Female Authors to Read in 2019

The schools are back after a long break and most parents are struggling to get their children to focus on reading books after more than two months of playtime.

It is not an easy task, worse if they were hooked to a screen during the holidays. Threats won’t work, but leading by example will. 

You might actually be a distraction they don’t need if you watch TV while they are on their books. So why not grab a book for yourself after helping them with their homework? Reading together, even when each is on a different book, is known to be an excellent way for a family to bond. 

If you are not an avid reader but want to fix that, yet you don’t know where to start, here are five African female authors to start you off: 


Joan Thatiah

Joan Thatiah is a feature writer for the Saturday Nation and has authored three books namely Things I Will Tell My Daughter, I’m Too Pretty To Be Broke and Letters To My Son. Thatiah’s books cut across gender identity as she boldly speaks about all the aspects of feminity and masculinity. 

In Things I Will Tell My Daughter, she encourages women to love themselves as they are and instead of letting their imperfections break them, they should embrace them and flaunt them to the world. The book covers issues related to womanhood, love & money based on real-life experiences.

I’m Too Pretty To Be Broke will get any woman on a journey of self-reflection hooked at how they look at life, womanhood, motherhood, and relationships. It was ranked among the top 100 bestsellers in 2018 by Prestige Bookshop.  

On the other hand, Letters To My Son tackles issues that young men struggle with in the society today, ranging from the definition of masculinity to relationships. 


Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan Political Analyst and Author with books such as Africa’s Media Image In The 21st Century, African Women Under Fire and Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics under her belt. 

Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics (also another best seller) and African Women Under Fire are a must-read for women who want to understand the evolving political environment across Africa and how that environment affects women and children. She looks at how the political elite tries to curtail online activism and new forms of violence against women.


Doreen Eshinali

An introvert who had to play the extrovert in school in order to fit in. The only outlet for her was writing in her diary. Doreen has since then authored two books, Life Before 25 and Toxic Soul Ties, which are about her life experiences that are so relatable to the African Youth.

Life Before 25 highlights growing up as a young person, through high school to campus and life after campus. Toxic Soul Ties addresses the issue of unhealthy relationships among African Youth. Doreen draws lessons from her own rough experience at trying to find love.

“Just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you have to be with them,” the book advises.


Phoebe Asiyo

In her memoir, It Is Possible, An African Woman Elder Speaks, Asiyo lays bare the story of her life. She tells of how she triumphed over various obstacles to rise to the top. She is the face of Women Empowerment and Leadership in Kenya. Notably, she is the only female member of the Luo Council of Elders. 

Any woman involved in social movement knows how difficult it is for women in such spaces. More often than not, giving seems like a much easier option. This book is a timely reminder that persistence and focus will give you the victory. Phoebe Asiyo simply gives hope to women in leadership. 


Juliana Makuchi

Juliana is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and a Writer from Cameroon. She has written two books; Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference and Your Madness, Not Mine.

Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference examine how feminist theories relate to African literature and how African women writers interpret gender relations.

Your Madness, Not Mine is a collection of short stories that explore the struggles of Cameroonian women for survival and empowerment. The stories aim to bring to the forefront the fight against inequality in a patriarchal society. 


This African Female Authors list is not exhaustive… 

There are a host of other African female authors to choose from and read this year. 

From Rebeka Njau, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Grace Ogot, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Yvonne Vera, to Warsan Shire among others. You can visit your favorite bookstore and grab a copy of your chosen author’s book. 

Share with us your favorite female author in the comments section. Which of their books you will be reading in 2019?

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