Post Image

Ouida is a book publisher based in Lagos. The company is known to have put out several titles from some of Nigeria’s most famous authors. It also makes these books available through its storefronts, both online and at its physical location.

Read more about Business
As one of the newer generation publishers in the country, Ouida is tapping into global demand for quality African storytelling, and pushing to ignite a similar interest in such works locally. It has succeeded in bringing many of these books closer to the Nigerian readership, while also creating a space for emerging authors amongst the works that fill its shelves.

This drive by Ouida was a response to the tendency of the better Nigerian writers to have their books published outside of the country before they were noticed by Nigerian (and African) readers. Lola Shoneyin, the acclaimed author who founded the company in 2016, says she intended for Ouida to reverse that trend.

Ouida takes its name from the Whydah, a free-flying bird that’s recognized as a symbol of courage and elegance. Lola also notes that the name is identical to that of an old slave port (a city in southern Benin) on the West African coast. She says that, by using the name, the publisher is reclaiming African history symbolically, and doing so through artistic expression.

Sign up for the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter
In the time since it was set up, Ouida has put out titles by several notable writers. They include NnediOkorafor, Tomi Adeyemi, Ayobami Adebayo, Chike Frankie Edozien, OdafeAdeogun, HadizaIsma El-Rufai, and AbdualbasitKassim, among others.

Some popular titles published by Ouida are Who Fears Death by NnediOkorafor; Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo; Travellers by HelonHabila; When the Sky Is Ready, the Stars Will Appear by E. C. Osondu; An Abundance of Scorpions by Hadiza El-Rufai; Lives of Great Men by OdafeAtogun; and Binti– the Night Masquerade by NnediOkorafor.

Ouida publishes its books under one of its multiple imprints. There’s Tanja, an imprint for children’s books, which was launched in 2018 (and includes Ayo Oyeku’sMayofa and the Finish Line), and Cognix, a non-fiction imprint (under which the book The Village by Femi Olubodun was released).

Register to attend the Connect Nigeria Business Mixer
Books from Ouida may be purchased at its physical location in Ikeja, Lagos, or ordered at its online store, which can be accessed via its website.

Ouida also runs ‘One Read’, a virtual book club which gives its subscribers access to a collection of books written by African authors. And at Ouida’s location in Ikeja, there’s a workspace that’s open to people who need a place away from home or a formal office to get work done.

Nigeria’s book publishers have a long way to go before they begin to match what’s on offer from their counterparts in first world countries. But with the drive of vibrant brands like Ouida, there’s a chance that this industry will attain heights not previously seen in these parts.

Featured Image Source: Brittle Paper
Got a suggestion? Contact us:

You might also like:
This article was first published on 28th April 2022


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “Brands We Love: Ouida Books”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *