By Olimatou Coker
Amir Yaya Sillah,a Gambian publisher and author and CEO of Suba-Kunda bookshop and publishing house is set to represent the country in the London book fair one of the most popular book fair in the world.
The event that will take place from the 18 to 20 April brings together 25,000 professionals in the book industry including publishers, booksellers, librarians, book distributors and literary agents.
It is the second time this leading Gambian publishing company, Subakunda Publishing is taking part in this global marketplace where people negotiate content rights and exchange ideas.
“The event was so inspiring and led to my inspiration to set up a publishing company because I realised that most of the participants at the exhibition were displaying books. published in their own countries which we did not have here. Many Gambian books are published by an independent publisher. So, I had vowed to publish books of our local authors free of charge, from editing to printing, and present them at the London book fair and I am happy that I have fulfilled my promise,” Sillah said. He said so far, he has written a total of 7 books in English, Arabic and one more is on the pipeline that will discuss the issue of maraboutism. He has also published 8 books of different Gambian authors.
Silla who attended the informal Islamic teaching school Karanta, said though he never sat in a formal classroom he was able to develop himself in English to a reasonable standard.
He famously remember being rejected for an American visa because he could not speak English.
Amir Sillah has also been invited by the University of Cambridge as a panelist to attend the ‘Cambridge Africa Together Conference’ which is scheduled to take place from the 12 to 14 May 2023 at the Cambridge University United Kingdom.