Small-Press Lineup: Cassava Republic Press

Mystery Month 2017Some of the biggest crime fiction is perpetrated by some of the smallest players. We’re determined to shine the spotlight on them before they break out and wreak havoc across the whole country. Read them—before they publish again!


cassava republic and bibi yousef


Legal Name and Alias:

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Co-founder and Publishing Director



Emma Shercliff: Sales & Rights Director

Jeremy Weate: Co-founder and Crime Editor

Holly Watson: Publicist (US)

Layla Mohamed: Editorial Assistant

Kofo Okunola: Sales Manager


Criminal Record:

Cassava Republic Press started raising eyebrows in Nigeria back in 2006. No one was sure initially if they were a front, but word got around that Bibi Bakare-Yusuf was the new Ms. Big in town. They say they had a mission to bring the conversation about African writing back to the continent. Ms Big wasn’t happy that there were so many African writers being published and recognized overseas, with no one locally in the loop. She decided to do something about it.

Ten years and more on, and no one can mess with Cassava Republic. Their rep for shifting high quality product is as certain as a pair of concrete boots will get you looking at the ocean floor. As well as their Abuja, Nigeria HQ, they staked out an office in London back in 2016, and they infiltrated the US this spring. Leaked files confirm the following:

Cassava Republic changes the way we all think about African writing, challenging the idea that such a vast and varied continent can be limited to a single narrative. They publish a range of titles, from the Cassava Crime series to literary fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s writing and YA, and are especially interested in titles that explore uncharted themes in African writing.

They’ve had only one brush with the law: one of their book readings attracted a group of Nigerian policemen, probably casing the joint. After a car-jacking some time later, they reported the crime at the police station but was treated with disinterest. When the officers discovered that Bakare-Yusuf was the publisher of the books they had bought at the reading their attitude of bored disinterest morphed into excitedly offering the VIP treatment for this worthy criminal. In an air-conditioned office (the only one in the station), the Cassava Republic team were affectionately chided about the negative representation of the Nigerian police by Teju Cole, in his 2007 novel, Every Day is for the Thief.

Their books are distributed in the United States through Consortium, and they are available for purchase through the usual suspect such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram etc. But don’t wait for the prison sentence to be over before letting them know of your existence; they want to hear from you. So, go ahead and, buy, read and enjoy books by those fine, young criminals in their stable.



easy motion touristPrevious Offenses:

Easy Motion Tourist, by Leye Adenle

The Lazarus Effect, by H. J. Golakai

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Season of Crimson Blossoms, by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Currently Plotting:

When We Speak of Nothing, by Olumide Popoola (Literary Fiction, July 2017)

The Score, by H J Golakai (Crime, 2018)

The Carnivorous City, by Toni Kan (Crime, 2018)

When Trouble Sleeps, by Leye Adenle (Crime, 2018)

Twitter: @cassavarepublic
Facebook: /CassavaReublic
[email protected]



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