Coffee With Fay

Coffee With Fay: Soila Kenya

Good morning Reader 🙂 The first week of November is almost over and I hope you’re having a good, staying safe and reading some good books. Today I’m introducing you to Soila, the Queen of Fantasy in my opinion & such a kind hearted soul. I ‘met’ Soila a few months ago when I was looking for Kenyan booktubers through a recommendation from Njokireads & I was obsessed. The host of an Afro Fantasy Literature Readathon, on a campaign to have more people read Fantasy, meet Soila.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Haha the hardest question to answer. I’m a 24-year-old freelance journalist currently pursuing my Master’s in Journalism, Media and Globalisation in Denmark. I’m also sort of an internet person. I recently started a blog where I encourage people, especially the youth, to apply for career and life boosting opportunities. I also run a bookish Instagram account and YouTube channel where I talk about the books I’m reading and host an annual readathon in July for African fantasy and science fiction.

2. What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading three books. The first two are My Sister the Serial Killer and Girl, Woman, Other. Both have been talked about so much online! Typically, I usually have JOMO (joy of missing out) but I’m in a book club so I can start reading a few more mainstream books and it’s going quite well. And so far for the two books, I must say I can see the hype. The third book I’m slowly reading is Sha Po Land by Priest. It’s a (translated) Chinese web novel set in a steampunk version of ancient China. The story is full of political intrigue, awesome fighting scenes and LGBTQ+ romance. I’m absolutely loving it so far! If you’re intrigued, you can check it out here.

3. What is your favourite genre and why?

Fantasy 🙂 I really love the ability of books to transport you to literally anywhere, real or imagined. Fantasy does this best. I could be snuggled up in bed but suddenly I’m in ancient Congo fighting off evil spirits and talking to animals. It’s thrilling for me.

4. What do you think about the reading culture in Kenya?
I was recently featured for about 5 seconds (haha) on this video about this exact question and as I said there, I think the country gets a bad rep because people who read are typically not talking about how they’re reading. They’re just reading. I only joined Bookstagram 1 year ago and that’s where I was exposed to this entire ‘hidden’ community of book lovers. I’d also take the example of the multitude of book shops we have in the country that are thriving, and more pop up now and again. That goes to show that Kenyans are actually reading.

5. Name 3 reading habits that you have.

  • I almost always read in bed.
  • I’m a night reader
  • I can’t read one book at a time. I’m too moody for that apparently :’)

6. Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?

Neither (Drinking chocolate for the win!) but if I had to choose I’d say coffee. Must have lots of milk and sugar though.

7. What is one book you recommend to people?

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe because it was the book that got me into fantasy as a kid and because it is reliably enjoyable across all ages, genre preference and several other factors that make people prefer one book over another. The entire Chronicle of Narnia series is top tier.

8. Where can we find you?

I’m most active on my Twitter, soila_kenya but for book stuff find me on soilacanread_ on Instagram, Soila Kenya on YouTube and Soila Kenya on Goodreads. My website is soilakenya.com Come say hi 🙂

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